Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Matthew 2: 2,11 "They asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."
1). The wise men came to worship the king of the Jews. (v.2) They loved the stars, they looked to the Scriptures to find out the meaning of different mysteries in the stars, and it led them to Jesus. They realized that Jesus was the reason the stars were as beautiful as they are. They worshipped God for the beauty of His creation, and so should we. Even these old, wise, rich, kings were bowing in worship to the newborn babe surrounded by farm animals in a smelly manger. Remember that every knee shall bow. It doesn’t say that they bowed to Herod, but they did bow for Jesus. 2). They were there to worship Jesus. (v.11) They had brought gifts, but instead they first presented themselves. God wants you more than your gifts. You are on His 'Christmas wish' list. If you give Him all of you, then and only then will you fully appreciate the gifts in your life and use them for His glory. 3). They brought gifts to Jesus. (v.11) Giving is an act of worship. We can give money, give time, give advice, resources, commitment, etc. What do you have that you can give to God as an act of worship this holiday season?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Today's trivia: (without looking) Which two gospel books contain the story of Jesus' birth? See ya tomorrow, Merry Christmas Eve Eve.
Monday, December 22, 2008
This past Saturday, my brother Corey had his 19th birthday. My wife and I were in town for the holidays, which is nice because we almost always get to see him on his birthday. We have a couple of nephews whose birthdays are right around Christmas as well, so we had one big birthday party together for all of our holly birthdays. Since we have so much gifts floating around, we decide to do a gift exchange for the adults as well, with a ten dollar limit.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Congratulations to Pastor Tim for being the correct comment chose to win our trivia from Tuesday. He earns another $2 in prize money to be used towards any NYM event or piece or merchandise. Please inform us where you are at in your winnings to the present time...
Today's trivia - our illustrious leader for Assemblies of God churches in NE, pastor Dwight Sandoz, will have a crazy and exciting holiday. His oldest daughter, Bethany, will be wed in Grand Island. It should be a great affair, with plenty of family and friends coming in for the occasion. Here's the question: at what western church did Pastor Dwight serve before coming to the district office?
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Make sure to take advantage of your opportunities to help others out when they come your way. It's a chance to be the church again!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1). Herod was disturbed when he received news of Jesus' birth. (v.3) In the same verse, we find out that Jerusalem was disturbed along with Herod. The nation followed their leader, showing the effectiveness of that leader in his leadership. Even though it wasn’t the right behavior, this act shows that Herod was a strong leader. The large group should take on the identity of the leader casting the vision.
2). Herod pulled the leaders together to discuss the situation. (v.4) Knowing that the people were disturbed as he was, he brought the leaders together to discuss a plan. It appeared that he didn’t just step out in his own direction, but he sought the counsel of his leaders and wanted to move together. Instead, he just wanted to find out where Jesus was, because he already had a plan to kill him. Sometimes, leaders appear to be doing their job well, when in fact they have ulterior, selfish motives that aren't right. Don't use your position of leadership to secretly advance your own cause. Great leaders have tried to do the same thing and taken a hard fall because of it.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Last week, Kim and I had the chance to take our kids to Kearney and experience the infamous 'Disney on Ice'. It was a blast. We love Disney films and our kids have had the chance to visit Disneyland, so it reminded us of great memories.
As we first came in, we went to find our seats. We were having a hard time so we asked a helper nearby, and we found out we were in the bleachers above the seats in the arena, about as far up as you can get. I asked Kim what had happened, and she has quickly bought the least expensive tickets, without looking to see where they were located.
We considered moving, but then the show started, so we figured we'd wait a bit and see what seats were available. Very quickly, we came to the realization that we had some of the best seats in the house; though we were up high, we had a great view of everything going on around the ice. Later on, during a break, we walked up close and saw that you couldn't see everything in that way, so we really did have good seats.
Sometimes, we need to wait a bit and experience something before we just rule it out based on our expectations. Sometimes, the cheap seats might be the best seats in the house.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Today's trivia challenge is this: Look at the church building above. What wonderful NE city is this church located in:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Our WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia challenge from last week wasn't answered correctly. Thank you to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW for trying. The correct answer was Clinton, close to Crawford, but not quite.
Today, here is the Bible Trivia challenge. Joseph took baby Jesus and his mother to Egypt to escape King Herod. God told him to do this through an angel in a dream. Herod was so furious he killed at the baby boys in Jerusalem and it's vicinity. Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod had died. Who replaced Herod, reigning over Judea (no looking!)?
D) Pontius Pilate
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Almost one month ago we finished our Fall Youth Convention (pictured above). Many of you might remember that we had a snowstorm Thursday night and many were concerned that they might not be able to come. In spite of the weather, only one church wasn't able to make it. Can you name what city they were from?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Here's our trivia question from today: Where is the shortest verse in the OLD TESTAMENT found?
B) 2 Samuel
C) 1 Chronicles
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Yesterday, I posted a picture of the tree lighting in Papillion, NE. Someone commented that they liked the name, and yes it is a butterfly. In fact, one of the Papillion school's mascots is a monarch. Here's the question, which of our A/G churches is closest in proximity to the new Shadow Lake mall?:
A) Omaha Pacific Springs
B) Bellevue Christian Center
C) Omaha Glad Tidings
D) Southridge Church
E) Omaha Southside A/G
Thursday, November 27, 2008
A few of my NE friends had a birthday today as well. I commented on their profile pages a jumbled message - Thanks happy giving birth day.
A few blogs ago I wrote about my trip to Hebron. The pastor is named Tim. Tim is also the FCA leader and they have the Christian Athlete meetings at their church. They have about 15 students that come every week and work with them on their faith. Their influence has extended far beyond just the youth who come with families on Sunday mornings or Sunday night youth ministries. What a great job, and remember, he works a fulltime job outside the church as well.
We should all look for ways to get involved in our communities and extend our influence to the people God has called us to.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Ephesians 5:16 "make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
A couple of weeks ago, I had a youth pastor coffee time in Omaha. About 6 or 7 of us came together and connected at Panera near Saddlecreek and Dodge. After we were finished, Brad Harder, Cory Demmel and I were walking out to our cars, ready to leave. A lady and a camera crew approached us. They told us they were from a Christian TV station in Virginia and were interviewing people on their thoughts about the current Safe Haven Laws. Cory and I were both interviewed. I said briefly that my wife and I couldn't fathom dropping off our kids, but something needed to be done to fix it.
I quickly forgot about it on the 2 and 1/2 hour drive home. A week later though, I got a funny text from my mother. She had been watching the 700 club, a popular Christian TV show with Pat Robertson, based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. They brought up a piece on the Safe Haven Laws, and suddenly she saw my face come up and heard my interview. She helped us find the link online as well. What a surprise to see her son on the national broadcast!
The next week I heard from many people who heard the interview and agreed with my stance. The Safe Haven Laws had concerned me, but little did I know that God would use me in a small way to help change things. Remember, make the most of EVERY opportunity; you never know what God might do.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Real youth, truly
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today, where is this picture from in NE?
A). Broken Bow
E). Red Cloud
Thursday, November 20, 2008
1). Susan Payne is a student from Omaha Glad Tidings LIFT youth ministries. She attends Benson High School, in North Central Omaha. LIFT has been doing some outreaches and she has been bringing her friends. She was personally responsible for bringing 42 students from Benson to Glad Tidings. WOW.
2). Our youth group from Friend, NE is pastored by Ryan and Rachel Conner. On the way home from convention, they couldn't stop talking about what God had done at the event. The next day, Rachel was supposed to speak in church, but before she got up to speak, she allowed students to testify about convention. These 9 students, normally shy and not willing to speak, ALL got up and told about what God had done. That was the message for the day!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
God had given Solomon a wonderful opportunity - ask for whatever you want me to give you. The ultimate 'genie in a bottle' moment. If you could have anything in the world, what would you ask for?
Solomon didn't become selfish, like most of us might in that moment. He thought of his people, the ones he was called to lead. He asked for a quality that would make him a good leader for their sake. God was pleased to give him his request when he saw his unselfish heart.
Many aspire to be a leader, but what they don't realize is that in becoming a leader you are losing more rights to yourself. You begin to make decisions that aren't necessarily your preference, but best for the ministry. What is best for the ministry becomes your desire.
Leadership is the ultimate test of humility. Can you truly put others before yourself?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For today, Psalm 117 is the middle chapter of the Bible. If you wanted to open up to the middle, you'd need to open up to the book of Psalms. What number chapter is that:
Have fun! I'm at a camp board meeting today
Monday, November 17, 2008
The pastors of Hebron New Life Assembly are Tim and Karen Boatright. Tim works a full time job outside of the church, to help with finances. They've been there for 8 years. When they first arrived, there was only about 6 people, all near 80 yrs. of age. Now, after faithfully serving in a bi-vocational role, they have a healthy church, full of young couples and lots of kids. There were about 20 students and leaders there last night, and many were from outside the church.
During our leaders meeting, I brought up some stats about our churches, and my goal that each church would be impacting at least 5% of their mission field. When I showed them their mission field (4 schools nearby, close to 600 students) they realized that they were already very close to their goal. Being from a smaller church, in a smaller city, with a pastor who works outside the church, they didn't think of themselves as doing that well; when in fact, they are one of the better effective youth ministries in their section of the state!
It's not always the most gifted, celebrated, honored, admired, and available leaders that thrive. One trait you will always see in those that are used by God - FAITHFULNESS.
I don't know who might be reading this and where you come from, but here's a word for you today: Don't give up, stick it out, be faithful, and God will see you through!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I got an email online from a student who came to convention. They had been to a lot of events and figured that this would be just 'another weekend'. She said God completely outdid Himself and she heard His voice in many ways. A youth pastor also told me that God was doing incredible things with His students, even on the way home, speaking to them and showing them things for their lives.
We also had a youth ministry that had a STL banquet on Sunday night. They were able to raise over $2,000 to help reach their goal this year.
Let me know if you have any testimonies, especially from convention. I'd love to hear them!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Now, I'm not trying to say I deserve all the credit. Sure, I'm the DYD and responsible for the overall convention, but I have a team of leaders helping me organize everything we do. Our state committee gave many ideas for convention, and analysis from the previous years, to help shape this one accordingly. I also used every member of the committee in some way during the weekend, further stretching their influence in our district.
Friday, all day, a team of workers came to New Life and helped setup the entire convention. Lights, cameras, merchandise booths, projectors, video screens, smoke machines, prizes, lounges, etc. etc., etc. Over 40 people were running all over the building making things happen. These same volunteers stayed at the church after convention was done and helped tear it all back down, and then setup the church again for their Sunday morning services. All the fun and atmosphere of convention would not have been possible without their help as well.
And then we have the staff from New Life. They manned the video booth, the screen consule, the sound board, the phones during the day, the shop for construction throughout the event. They were wonderful to work with and had the best attitudes as we came and invaded their space. Again, convention wouldn't have been the same without them as well.
And then of course all of our colleges and Master's Commission groups that came and set up their promotional booths in our exhibits area. We had more booths this year than any other year since I've been the DYD. They gave out all kinds of prizes and scholarships, and interacted with many people before and after services. Some of them also came early or left late, in order to help with the behind the scenes details as well. They were a great assett to our convention, and a priority to me because I want to provide our NE students with the best opportunities available for them upon graduation.
Then, we have all the pastors and leaders that brought students from churches. They drove vans and buses, shared beds and slept on floors, and prayed for students all throughout the event. They took time off work, spent time away from their families, all to oversee a group of students becoming who God called them to be. They provided much needed oversight for a gathering of this magnitude. Convention would definitely not occur without them.
And lastly, we have my office staff. Many months ago, we started planning for this event, calling churches, colleges, hotels, etc. Putting together the theme and using the national office resources. Sending out promotional materials months in advance. Numerous phone calls, hours of data entry, and then some. And as soon as we were done, we were already working on the next event coming up. Convention isn't the same without them.
SO OVERALL, you can see it wasn't just one leader that made it happen. It was host of leaders, all working together for the common purpose of seeing students in NE grow in God. What a challenge, and yet, what a success. When we work together, much can be accomplished for God's kingdom, much more than if we try to do things completely on our own.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Last Friday, we had a trivia challenge where the last two conventions had been held in NE. It might have been a trick question, because I was not including the convention from this past weekend, since my blog was entered before the event. That would have made the last two conventions in Kearney, and then Hastings, at the community college. The random winner from correct comments is THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW! Thanks for entering. You are now back up to $2 in prizes. Way to go
At convention, we honored students of NE who had done amazing feats for God this past year. The first night, we honored our Bible Quiz team from Grand Island who qualified for the National Bible Quiz festival. Here's the question - what book of the Bible are the Bible Quiz teams of NE memorizing for this year?
Have fun looking! (HINT - Linda Parker is our BQ director, from Gering. She could help, if you know where to find her...)
Monday, November 10, 2008
One of the things that I try to do with convention is make sure that money issues don't keep anyone away. That's hard to do, because it takes a lot of money to bring in the lights, cameras, videos, speakers, worship team, effects, prizes, t-shirts, etc.,etc.,etc. It's also challenging because you have to plan these details out far in advance, before you know if most of your churches will be at convention or not. But it's better for NYM to have students there for less money than to not have them at all. I work with youth pastors and leaders to help them provide scholarships to students in need.
Well, one of my youth leaders did all that he could to help his students get to convention. We worked together, and we saw 4 of them there, all of them non-Christian (or rather, pre-Christian). The first night, all 4 of them came forward and gave their lives to Christ! That's what it's all about, drawing people closer to God. Money should never keep people away from the most important relationship in their lives, a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Many of you might be first time bloggers from convention. Make sure to sign up for an account, and then you can post comments and be available for prizes as well. Tomorrow is a trivia day, so do it soon. A random drawing of all correct comments will decide the winner, so even if you see someone that already answered correctly, comment on! You still have a chance, (with God, nothing is impossible)
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I heard a great story from my sister-in-law, Tina Moen, the DYD's wife in Southern New England. She was at the mall with her daughter, who accidentally opened her car door very hard. It hit the car next to them, and left a scratch and slight paint transfer. Tina decided to leave a night with her contact information to help the owner with the repair.
It took a few months, but eventually, she heard back from the owner. They told her that they were so amazed that someone would actually take the time to leave the note and be responsible. They weren't asking for any money to fix the damage, and we're keeping the note to show people that nice people do actually exist in this world. Doing the right thing is always right, even if the results don't look like it.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
2. 1 Samuel 24:5,6 "David was consience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his (Saul) robe...'the Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed.'"
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Today's question - with such a big vote in our country today, can you remember at least 2 different instances where a vote took place in the Bible. Remember, try to not to cheat and look!
Be sure to pray for our convention this weekend. See ya tomorrow! (BONUS TRIVIA QUESTION - who is the man under the mask in the photo above???)
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tomorrow, we will announce the winners from both the trivia challenges last week on Friday and Tuesday. You can still comment in on EITHER one of those to receive the $2 prize.
This past weekend, I was at North Central. On the way home, I was trying to hustle so that I could see my kids before they went to bed. This would be my first year SINCE THEY WERE BORN that I missed being with them at the church party on Halloween night. I had two flights, one into Denver, and the other into Omaha. Then I had to pick up an art piece in Bellevue before coming home. As I was ready to board the flight from Minneapolis to Denver, they announced that the mechanical team found a flat tire and it would be an hour delay.
That didn't bother me much, I had a lot of work to catch up on. But my connecting flight would be in jeopardy. As I was waited in line to rebook, they announced that they could shorten the flight and it appeared that everyone would make their connecting flights, so no need to wait in line.
We got on the plane and headed out. I wasn't worried at all. Now, I wouldn't have to jump out as soon as the plane landed and budge in front of other people to get off fast. I never like when people are impatient like that.
Well, we landed, and as soon as we reached the gate, an announcement, 'please let the individual headed to Omaha off first, his flight is ready to leave without him'. YIKES, I jumped out of my seat, grabbed my stuff, and made my way forward, through people that were looking at me, disgusted.
I realized I had become the 'impatient' person that couldn't wait for others. The very thing I had looked down on was now my label. But it wasn't my fault. Surely everyone on the plane could understand that, couldn't they, especially after being singled out like that? I learned a lesson - don't judge people, especially if you don't know where they are coming from.
When I got to the Omaha plane, I was just in time. I boarded, and could see the people's joy over my arrival. They were glad this lazy, slow guy finally made it there. If only they knew...
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
1 Samuel 21:7 indicates that while David was on the run from King Saul, he stopped at a place called Nob. He deceived the priests into helping him, believing that he was on a mission from the King. The King's head shepherd Doeg was there as well.
1 Samuel 22:9 reveals that Saul was asking his men if they had any news on the whereabouts of David. Most of the men had fought with David, admired him, and did not want to betray him. But Doeg, who had seen him in Nob, told King Saul what had happened with the priests there.
1 Samuel 22:18,19 show that King Saul asked his men to strike down the priests, but they wouldn't do it, because they knew it was wrong. Then King Saul asked Doeg to kill them, and he willingly obliged. Not only did he slaughter the entire priestly family, he also destroyed the city of Nob, 'it's men and women, it's children and infants, and its cattle, donkey, and sheep'
I find Doeg's actions a lesson in leadership. He had been detained by the priests at Nob, so it is clear that he had negative feelings toward them and happily obeyed King Saul's demand to annihilate them. But why kill the rest of the town, the babies and children, the animals, and more significantly, the SHEEP? Wasn't Doeg a shepherd, someone who would love sheep, and be willing to lay down his life for their safety. Now, because of a grudge against the priests and a desire to be successful in the eyes of his king, he destroyed the very creatures he was created to protect.
As leaders, there will be times when others will hurt us. We will be tempted to hurt them back when we get the chance. There will also be times when we could do selfish acts to make ourselves advance to higher positions in life. If we give in to either one of these desires, the selfish pride will take control and cause us to hurt the very people we are called to protect. Selfishness and pride make us enemies to God's will.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The Bible is divided into two sections, the Old and New Testament. Each testament is divided into books, and those books are divided into chapters. Some books have only a few chapters, while other books have many, especially in the Old Testament. Here's the question (and don't look this up, take a guess!): how many chapters are in the Old Testament? Hint - the number will be between 800 and 1000.
Monday, October 27, 2008
While in Gering, I had a young man that performed in our kids Fun arts. He painted a picture with water colors. As a young man of 5 years of life, he had much to say about his painting and how he enjoyed doing it for God. At the end of our conversation, I asked 'How long did it take you to finish this painting,' and without skipping a beat, he said, 'Oh, about a minute'.
We laughed. It was so honest and genuine. We cheered for him. His quick work didn't diminish how much we enjoyed the final product.
On the other hand, I was working with the interns to do a funny sketch for the contemporary service featuring a debate between Barack and McCain. We had the masks, the suits, and the scripts. We had a boy playing Obama, and a girl playing McCain. There was a funny moment where Barack was going to say that the Straight Talk express will take you straight to the bathroom, and McCain was supposed to say something about leaving his prostate out of this, a reference to his old age. It was an akward line for her to say, and gave us the most difficulty in practice, so we spent most of our time with it.
When we got to the service, we started the sketch, which quickly gets to the point where she makes the line about the prostate. The practices paid off and she did a great job, but nobody even heard it because her microphone wasn't on. All of that time and hard work, and it didn't matter that much in the end.
We should always do all that we can to be our best for God; He's worth it! But when we present our gifts to Him, it's up to Him how he wants to use them. We can't be responsible for the results, but for the process. Do you best, and leave the rest to Him.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
"hey when i was in masters you told me that god showed you that i would be a mom with kids around me. that you seen me at home doing crafts with them and that was my ministry. let's say i was mad at you because i felt like god had a bigger calling for me than staying home with a bunch of kids.....and well here i am! i have my 2 kiddo's and a foster kid we are hoping to adopt. and when our habitat haome is done we want to finish the basement and bring in teens. i feel like this is really what god has called me to. to bring in kids whith distroyed lives and with gods help make them whole again. i have changed and matured since masters and learned that even though i went through hell as a kid god can use it to minister. these kids who come from abuse, neglect, and poverty, just like i did..... so in a weird way...thanks"
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I was sitting at a table, for most of the sessions, with my former senior pastor Gary Hoyt, of Bellevue Christian Center. I was on staff wtih him for about ten years, and we worked closely together the last year and a half as I was the worship pastor. He taught me many things I know and use in my ministry and spiritual life today.
At that table, we were discussing our upcoming district tour in Feb, 2009. Our plan is to combine all department tours with this tour, so that it will literally be the TOTAL district tour. We'll have senior pastors, youth and children's workers, men's and women's leaders, etc. all together. Last year, our district tour was entitled "The Listening Tour." It was with the intent to bring people together and get some discussion around the topic of being a missional person. The problem was that many pastors felt with the title, it would be a time for the district to sit back and listen to issues that were important to our pastors. Our hope is that we can facilitate more of that on the upcoming district tour next year.
As I was mentioning that, I looked over to Gary Hoyt, and remembered a lesson he taught me "Be very careful when you NAME things'" A story he had told me long ago was about a missions trip he took to England. The group, without his involvement early on, had named the team the TWINKIES, which was an acronym that stood for a good slogan, though I can't remember what it was. They made shirts with that title on it and wore them around England. The missionary was uncomfortable with it, and when Gary asked him why, he said 'It sounded a bit twee'. In other words, "flamboyantly feminine", at least, in that culture.
As I was sitting at that table, near Gary, remembering that story, I mentioned that a leader once taught me to be very careful when naming things. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him smile, as he caught the hint.
I can't tell you how many times I've remember lessons taught to me by Gary Hoyt. It's been great when we've been in meetings together, and he's heard me say things that he told me long ago, 'Be very careful when naming things', 'Sometimes, it's better to be polite than to be right, ', etc. God puts our senior pastors over us for a reason; I encourage you, in whatever position you are in, to take full advantage of your opportunity to learn from that man or woman of God. Who knows - there may be a time in the distant future when you're sitting at a table with them and remembering those lessons for a great cause as well!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Today, it's only 40 degrees and later, we have a chance of possible snow or sleet. Winter, here we come. I enjoy the cold, just not when I have to be on the road. Here's the question - is there any Bible stories that involve snow or ice, and if so, can you mention one?
Our Friday WHERE IS THAT IN NE winner is Jen Busch. Great job, and enjoy your $2 prize money.
See ya tomorrow.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This weekend I had a great time with my boys. Ryan and Eric were with me at home while Kim and Abby were at the camp for the ladies retreat. We watched Speed Racer, had lots of food, and did lots of BOY stuff together.
Saturday morning, Jay and Emily Warriner came over with their kids, Kaden and Isabella. We were watching the Husker game together, in which the Big Red finally got another win and stopped our 3 game losing streak.
I had set out a bunch of food and let people come and grab it as they wanted. I didn't even stop to think about the kids doing this. Suddenly, one of my sons came upstairs and told Jay a secret. Emily quickly ran downstairs and I could tell something was a little off. I asked Jay, and he finally confessed to me that Bella had accidentally gone to the bathroom on the floor. She had been eating so much food she had to go to the bathroom very badly, but she didn't know where it was, and she was afraid to interrupt us while we were watching the game.
It's fun to have friends over and enjoy some good time together, but even in those moments, make sure to take care of business and continue doing what you are supposed to do. You never get a vacation from being a parent.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Paul thanked God for sending Jesus. He loved Jesus and lived for Him. But he also realized that Jesus was sent on a mission, so he thanked the person behind Jesus, God. In this sense, Paul supported the 'parent organization' (Father God). It is one thing for us to properly follow our leaders and support them. But we must remember that by supporting them, we also support who sent them and empowered them to minister to us. Sometimes, students don't see themselves as part of the church; they think they just come on Wednesday nights, and aren't involved as much on Sundays. But if they support the youth pastor, they are also supporting the pastor, who empowers the youth pastor to be there in the first place. The youth pastor is AN EXTENSION of the senior pastor. That's why it is so important for both pastors, though on different levels of leadership, to be on the same page. It's also important for students to respect their senior pastor and support them as well!
2. Bridge Builders - Ephesians 1:10
Jesus was called to bring all things together in heaven and on earth. He was placed in charge of two kingdoms, very different and far apart. By coming to earth, he focused all of heaven's attentions on earthly things. Also, by being God among us, he connected us with heaven. He was reaching and dealing with both groups of individuals in both kingdoms at the same time, bringing them together. As leaders, we need to learn how to build bridges between the ministries we oversee which tend to compete against each other. We've got to make clear paths from one ministry to another, and help people understand and value of both programs in their lives. We need to follow in Jesus' steps and be bridge builders in our churches today
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Too bad that once again no one commented an answer for our trivia from Friday. I guess no one likes Aaron. NO WAY, but just in case you were wondering, he is the youth pastor at River Hills Church in South Sioux City, in the northeast corner of our state.
In 1 Samuel 20, David and Jonathan are discussing whether or not King Saul wanted to kill David. David felt that he was, but Jonathan couldn't believe it. David hid in the field and sent Jonathan to go and see for himself with King Saul. When Jonathan returned he was going to give David a signal by shooting something towards him in the field. Here's the trivia: What was the item that Jonathan shot and if it went beyond David, what did that mean?
Have fun, see ya tomorrow
Monday, October 13, 2008
I love churches that have coffee for their members. Not every church does it, but for those that do, I always grab a cup or two. So many of my meetings involve coffee that it has become a very normal part of my life. I took my cup and wandered around the room chatting with different people. At one point I set my coffee down and kept talking, walking, talking and walking. Eventually, during a conversation, I reached down to a cup of coffee, picked it up and took a swig.
WOOPS! I didn't put any creamer in my coffee, and was that lipstick that I tasted on the lid? At that moment, a friend I had met earlier came up to me with a cup of coffee in her hand. I found out that she had done the exact same thing I had done, so we had shared coffee. Embarassed, we exchanged cups and went about our way, secretly hoping and praying that the other person didn't have a cold that morning.
It's good in church to move around and meet new people, greeting newcomers and veterans alike. One piece of advice though, remember where you put your coffee!
Friday, October 10, 2008
This morning I had the privilege of meeting with Aaron Bade, one of our outstanding youth pastors here in NE. His father pastored in Nebraska and he has a rich history of involvement in Nebraska Youth Ministries. He has personally attended at least 4 different NE fellowships, that I know of. Here's the trivia: in what church does he currently pastor and what city is that in?
Happy Hunting. Have a great weekend
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Rod Whitlock is our national FINE ARTS leader and he does a great job. I enjoy working with him as an old friend and mentor of mine. He used to be my pastor at BCC when I was a Master's Commission student. I remember working with him on many of our large dramas that the church would host during special times and holidays. We'd spend many hours talking while I was on the genie lift adjusting lights, he being down below on the stage with the AIM directions.
What an incredible thing, when I was looking across the table at Rod, seeing him move from one position to another in the last ten years. I wonder how many of our pastors who are working with dramas now, will be directing national dramas later? How many who are discipling students now, will be discipling their leaders later? How many are writing messages now, will be writing national bestsellers later? Dream.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
David ran to a spiritual father in times of need. As leaders, we must have mentors in our lives and run to them often, not just in times of need, but in times of success as well. And when we do, God will honor that time and allow us to grow immensely. God protected David and his time with Samuel - He wasn't going to let anything disrupt it.
1. Who is your mentor?
2. When was the last time you got some good time together?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Yet, here's another chance! It's Bible Trivia today, and it's a simple question really. We all know the shortest verse in the Bible - 'Jesus wept'. Do you know where that is found.
EXTRA CREDIT - What's the next shortest verse in the Bible? (Hint it's between Genesis and Revelations)
Monday, October 6, 2008
This past weekend, my mother and father in law came to visit from Bellevue. We went to the Harvest of Harmony parade in Grand Island, with about 500 bands, and then we went to the Hastings Museum. On Sunday, I helped a church across town by filling in on guitar while there guitar players were away. I was going to play in worship and then head back to my church with my family.
I got to practice at 8:00am and things went well. After some coffee and Sunday School, I came back to the stage for worship during service. During the first song, only 30 seconds in, the third string on my guitar snapped. It wasn't a clean break, so it was hanging in the way of my strumming. I pulled it out, but when I did it completely DE-tuned the rest of my strings. I haven't even thought about the possibility of a broken string, it's happens so infrequently with me, that I had put my tuner back in my case in the back of the stage. I tried to adjust on the fly, but I could tell it was creating a distraction, so all I could do was put my hands over the strings, stop playing and start singing.
In retrospect, it's funny how the only reason I was there was to play and I couldn't do it. I remember driving away, praying, 'Well, God, I'm not sure what that was about, but it was all for you'. Sometimes, things won't go right. The key is for us to do what God says, do our best, and leave the results up to Him.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Congratulations to Pastor Mike for his correct comment to the Bible Trivia on Tuesday. To this date, he has earned $4 towards any NYM merchandise item or event. Go to http://www.youth.neag.org/ for more details.
I've often said that the founding fathers of NE put the interstate in the wrong place. It is very convenient for a nice flat straight path, but NE has much pretty scenery off the beaten path. If you travel along the northeastern part of the state, you'll see some gorgeous hills and greenery surrounding the Missouri River. This picture is one of our states large dams, providing power for thousands of customers. Can you the name the dam?
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I gave a welcome and threw out some shirts
Jesse Norman - "Be Reasonable"
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
In 1 Samuel 18, we see that David was still playing the harp for King Saul. Even though he'd slain Goliath, and was now sent out on military missions, he continued this 'lowly' act of service for his king. Saul, enraged by an evil spirit, picked up a spear and threw it at David while David was playing for him. David was able to avoid the spears, twice.
That's interesting. It means that Saul threw a spear at David, David avoided it (no small thing to do while playing a harp), and DAVID STILL WENT BACK TO PLAYING THE HARP AGAIN. I like to think of myself as a pretty good leader, but it would probably only take one time of my youth committee throwing spears at me for me to leave and never return. But not David; he continued on in that role for his king, even when it almost cost him his life, even when the king didn't fully appreciate it.
David's service cost him something. He had 'risky worship'. He laid his life on the line to be obedient to His God.
God should be so important to us that we are willing to risk our lives in order to serve Him, worship Him, and be obedient to Him. Think about it: it should be easy to risk our lives when they aren't ours in the first place.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today is Bible Trivia. Remember, comment in, and we'll pick a random comment from those that are correctly answered. The winner gets that $2 prize. We give away 2 of these prizes every week, over $100 for the year!
There are many books of the Bible, but only a small portion have 2 or 3 editions. Please don't look at your Bible first, but how many pairs (2 or 3 pair) of books are there in the Bible? (Example, 1st and 2nd Hesitations would be 1 pair, and that's not a real book, just in case you didn't know that.)
Monday, September 29, 2008
We also had the chance to go the Husker game, which we ALMOST won! We saw Kim and Rod Whitlock there, and they say hi to everyone in NE.
Matt Johnson on the New camp tractor
Jay Warriner tearing down an old building
Jay Warriner is actually quite strong!
My brother Corey loves the Huskers!
Friday, September 26, 2008
We have a big camp board meeting today, talking about our new name at the campgrounds, THE CROSSING at Lexington. We're trying to come up with a cool logo for it. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Congratulations to JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD. She had the correct comment about our trivia question on Tuesday. The correct answer was 9-11. Way to go JM. You've got 2 wins to your credit, $4 to be used on any NYM event or merchandise.
This picture is the National Homestead Monument. It is one of the few National Historical Sites in NE and a fun trip for history buffs. Can you name the city of NE in which this monument is located?
Have a wonderful weekend. Go Huskers!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
1) A couple of weeks ago - we had our STL/BGMC bike ride. This is from a student at our first stop in McCook, Autumn: you know when you came to mccook for the bike riding thing....for stl?....ya on friday i saw you guys riding past our school when i was on the bus! that really made my day...everyone at school was asking who you guys were and if you guys were crazy riding in that weather...i told them that that is toby and jenny for ya....and told them about stl and wat it was used for....they were really suprized that you would go out and do that in the weather....
2) This is from Mike Maroney, youth pastor in Valentine, on a regional outreach they did this past weekend: We had a concert in the Valentine city park where we had two of the district inflatable's, thebungee run and the joust. We also had the gyro from the campground at theoutreach. We had two bands come for the concert...We had over 300 people attend the outreach and the inflatable's and the gyro were a big hit amongthe middle and high school students. However, the greatest number to reportis that 25 people responded to the altar call for salvation.
3) And finally, a true story of inspiration and courage from Tim Lillard, youth pastor in Norfolk: This is Richard, a student from Victory Road Assembly. He just came to youth over the summer and gave his life to the Lord in church and was baptized. The friend that initially brought him moved away, but Richard is still strong in serving the Lord. Yesterday morning, he was the only student out of 925 that had the courage to stand at his pole and pray for his school. It reminded me of an old song by Al Denson, will you be the one:
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Joe told me a great story. He has a girl in his youth ministry who plays guitar. He found out because he saw her profile picture on myspace. He asked her if she'd consider playing for youth, and this morning, she led some worship songs at the pole with her classmates. All because of her Myspace picture. See, Myspace can be a good thing!
1 Samuel 17:38-40 (paraphrased) David is ready to face Goliath. Saul, Israel's king, gives him his armor, but it's much to large for David because he is only a boy. David then goes and picks up 5 smooth stones from a river, and with no armor, goes to face the giant.
LESSON 1 - Saul should have faced Goliath himself. He tried to put his armor on David, when he should have put it on himself and faced Goliath for his nation and God. Saul was willing to put his responsibility on someone else, because he was afraid. The real leader of Israel stepped up here. This is a symbolic 'passing of the mantle' from Saul to David.
LESSON 2 - Saul's armor didn't fit David. Sometimes as adults, we try to teach the truths of the gospel to students in a way that an adult would enjoy, but a student wouldn't. We need to package it in a way that a student will be drawn in, enjoy and understand. They won't wear our religion the same way we do, it won't fit quite as well.
LESSON 3 - David grabbed 5 smooth stones. He faced Goliath with nothing but a childs toy (slingshot) and rocks. Goliath ran to face him with a huge spear, a huge sword, and his armor bearer carrying his huge shield. Yet, David won and Goliath died. Having the best 'stuff'' in ministry doesn't matter as much as doing the best you can with the 'stuff' you got.
LESSON 4 - David grabbed 5 smooth stones. We know from the story, he only needed one shot to hit Goliath in the forehead and knock him down, but he had 4 more stones just in case. He was prepared for a long battle. Sometimes, we plan for the immediate and ignore the future. Sometimes, we put all our hopes in ministry in one event or one program. We need to learn to plan ahead, prepare for growth over the long haul, and be ready to pick up another 'stone' when the first one misses.