Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Top Rated Testimony!!! (a little long, but you'll like it)

This last week, I spoke at Tim's Jr. High camp up in New Hampshire. He brings his leaders in on Sunday night. We had a meal together, went through details for camp, and then had a little service. The first leader he introduced me to was one of his newest youth pastors, a guy named Sterling, originally from Texas.

The next night, I was talking to him after the service and I realized that I had seen him before.

Back when I first became DYD, I went to my first National Fine Arts Festival in Denver. I was in a short sermon room with a Nebraska student, waiting to perform. We sat down to listen to the student going right in front of her. It was a young man from Texas. He had a good look, great sermon, complete with the nice southern accent that we all love. Suddenly, about 2 minutes in, he lost his place and stopped. He walked back to his podium and tried to recover, obviously shaken. He started again and then quickly, lost his place one more time. This time he didn't recover. He suddenly grabbed his notes and Bible, and ran out of the room, down the middle aisle. Quickly, his family got up from the front row and followed him out, crying.

I tried to encourage my NE student not to worry about it, and she did do a great job, but I couldn't shake the image of that young man giving up. When we got back to Grand Island, I was sitting in my office, still thinking about him. I pulled my Fine Arts manual and found him. I looked at the city where he was located and looked up the church in the Assembly of God directory. Then I wrote a letter to the pastor. I explained who I was and what I had witnessed. I asked him to consider giving the letter to the young student and his family. In the letter, I encouraged him not to give up because I felt that he could be a great preacher someday if he keeps trying.

Well, back to Tim's camp, I was standing with Sterling after the service, when suddenly, I knew I had seen him before. I think I remembered his name - Sterling. I asked him how old he was,


'Did you ever to go to National Fine Arts'


'Did you do short sermon'

After a long pause he said, 'Oh my goodness, it was you!'

Believe it or not, Sterling was the young man I had seen leave that room in Denver. He was the young man that received the letter from his pastor. He had just moved to his church in New England after graduating from SAGU earlier in the year. It was his first camp in New England, and our paths crossed as I spoke there. He said that the letter was an incredibly source of encouragement to him. He had kept it and pulled it out whenever he felt like quitting and giving up. Amazingly, he actually had the letter with him in the glovebox of his car, where he kept it regularly. Later, he pulled it out for me to see.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

2 Samuel 10:1,2 "In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, 'I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.' So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.

David sent a delegation to express sympathy and build a bridge with a new leader next door. So many times, we are threatened by other churches and leaders nearby, thinking that they will take all of our people away. We shouldn't compete against neighboring ministers, but rather, join hands with them and work together as a team. 

Unfortunately, Hanun didn't like the gift and caused a skirmish with David that would result in the destruction of his nation. Had he accepted David's gift, they could have worked together as friends and built a lasting legacy for his people and his nation.

When we work together we can always accomplish more than when we compete with each other and try to do it all ourselves.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                                           Rainbow in Laconia, NH

It's time to award some winners.

The winner from Tuesday's Trivia last week is LARISSA. She was the only one to comment and she was correct. Remember, we'll pick a random correct comment as our winner each trivia day. Larissa, please update me on where you are at in your winnings.

The winner from Friday's Trivia last week is PASTOR MIKE. His correct comment was chosen at random, though each comment was correct. Way to go! Also, Pastor Mike, please let me know where you are at on your winnings as well.

Some of came with us to youth camp 1. Jacob Jester was our speaker and he told the story of William Travis from the Alamo. I also used that story in one of my messages for the Jr. High Camp I spoke at last week. Which one of these Bible stories do you think I used as my main text the same night at which I told the story of the Alamo:

A. The Thief on the Cross
B. The Star of Bethlehem
C. Jesus on a Mountain
D. Joseph of Arimathea

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons - Be Surprised

                                 Fireworks at Laconia Drive In

I had a wonderful week speaking at the SNED Jr. High Camp in New Hampshire (SNED is Souther New England District). The camp ended on Friday and I couldn't wait to get to my family in Massachusettes, but they decided to stay over an extra night and take our time getting out of there.

I am a pretty driven person by nature, and I don't stand around without action for too long. It was hard for me to wait, but I decided to have a good attitude and give it a shot for their benefit. Plus, my wife's desire to linger also had an effect on me as well.

We looked up movies, and found a Drive In theater nearby. We drove to it that night, after stopping at Burger King, and it was a gorgeous drive through the mountains. We ended up in the city with the Drive In, Laconia. The movie was G-Force, and though it was cheesy, it was a lot of fun putting our seats down and laying down in the van for a show. Around 10pm, a fireworks show started behind us and it was amazing, over the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. We went in that direction after the movie and found a little boardwalk. After walking it with our family, we came upon an ice cream stand and bought some goodies. I ordered the slush, thinking of Sonic, and it came out as Polish Ice, which is absolutely amazing.

It wound up being a GREAT night, and all because we decided to take our time and wait. Sometimes, it's OK to relax and explore a little. The more we take in of our surroundings where God has us, the more we can enjoy all that life has to offer us. Take time this week to wait and explore.

(Winners from last week's trivia will all be posted tomorrow!!!!!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday - Where is that in NE?

This week I've been enjoying the mountains of New Hampshire at a junior high camp. We've woken up each morning to see clouds hiding the tops of the peaks, and temperatures much cooler than hot, humid Nebraska at this time of the year.

Also a treat, we tubed down a mountain river. The most popular tubing river in Nebraska is the Niobrara, with most launch points occuring near Valentine. Can you name another river in NE that offers tubing as a recreational activity?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

1. Last Wednesday, I got a text from Ryan Conner. He is the youth pastor at Friend, NE. They did a big outreach in Beaver Crossing and he reported that many people were touched and some gave their lives to the Lord.

2. I also got a text from my mother last week on Thursday. She went to my grandfather's funeral, and reached out to the family members on the other side of his family line. She wound up praying with two of them to receive Jesus as the Savior.

3. Brian Korell (youth pastor in Gering and new youth alive director) has our inflatables in western NE, and he was encouraged to see if he could keep them rented out often while in his care. He called me late last week and he had 5 or 6 different things lined up with more maybe coming in. Great job Brian!

4. Also late last night, I connected with Cory Demell, our youth pastor in Bellevue. He confirmed that BCC is in plans to host a major Christian concert the night before our convention begins, Thursday, Nov 5th. They are working to possibly offer tickets at a reduced price for convention attendees that would like to come early and enjoy a Christian show. We'll send out convention registration packets with all the information near August 1st

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner - Go with them

Matthew 9:19 - Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

Last week, we had a viewing for my grandfather, who passed away on July 12th. As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed an older lady having difficulty walking to the front door. After we parked, I offered her my assistance and I led her to the entrance. My wife waited for me there, while my kids went ahead with my mom to see Grandpa.

My kids had never experienced anything like this before, and as Kim and I were in the back of the line to see our grandfather, we looked up and saw one of my children crying over the casket. We quickly rushed forward and helped care for this child, realizing we should have gone with them from the beginning.

Later on, my son Eric asked me if he could spit out his mint. Apparently, Jenny had given him a very strong mint and it was burning his mouth. I told him to go the bathroom and spit it out. He stared at my for an intense moment, and then said, 'Well, can you go with me?' Suddenly, I remembered that we were in a mortuary and I wouldn't want Eric walking down strange hallways or opening mysterious doors. I asked him about it later that night, and he admitted that he was a little scared in that place.

Too many times we just allow our people to forge ahead without proper instruction or support. One of the best things you can do as a leader is to lead, and go with them when they are accomplishing something for the very first time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

This week I am speaking at a junior high camp in Rumney, New Hampshire for the Southern New England District. We're in a gorgeous area, but also far removed from a good internet service. I'll post the winner from Friday's trivia, along with the winner of today's trivia and this coming Friday's trivia next Tuesday, with my blog, July 28th.

My message tonight is about being a star for God, based on the story of the Star of Bethlehem. We are going to pray for the Holy Spirit to help us be God's star and lead people to Jesus. Here's the verse I'm using as a key point:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

Can you guess what book of the Bible this verse is from?

A. Romans
B. Ephesians
C. Philippians
D. Titus
E. 2 Peter

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons - When making mistakes...

Last week, I came home from Family Camp at 1:30am. It had been a long 5 weeks of camp and I couldn't wait to get home. But I had to wait a little longer than expected.

As I passed through Wood River on HWY 30, I was pulled over by a cop. It was an unusual incident. I was going through the city at 35 mph, the posted Speed Limit. I saw the officer on the side of the road with his lights off. He pulled out and trailed me for a mile with his lights still off. Then he put them on brights and rode my tail for about 2 miles. Finally, he turned his siren on and I pulled over.

He came to the passenger side window and shined a flashlight in the car, 'Do you know how fast you were going?' I answered that I had been going the speed limit. He again asked, 'Well, I clocked you speeding some, how much do you think it was?' I answered that I honestly saw that I was only going 35.

He took my drivers license and registration and went to his car for about 20 minutes. I was a littel frustrated with the way that he had pulled me over: the middle of the night, tailing me, passenger window, etc. Then it hit me - he was hoping I was a drunk driver.

My suspicion was confirmed when he came back and only gave me a warning. I asked him what he had clocked me at, but he said that if he told me he'd have to give me a ticket, though it was in the 7-10 miles over range. On his way back to his car, I heard him say, 'Keep it down.'

I learned a lesson. Be honest, and God will fight your battles. And I hope he learned a lesson to: Be honest when you've made a mistake, and make it right.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday - Where is that in NE?

Congratulations to Pastor Brian for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's Trivia. Everyone was right, though THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW put in some good comments as well. Pastor Brian - let me know where you are at in your winnings now, and if you used any prize money at camp.

Yesterday we made the long trek to Toledo, Ohio. We stopped at the World's Largest Truck Stop just outside Davenport, Iowa and had lunch at Wendy's and Dairy Queen. We had dinner at a toll stop just outside Shipshewanna, Indiana at a KFC/Burger King. We had to fill up one time at a Truck Stop called LOVES, somewhere in Illinois. As I looked at the map they provided on the wall, I found that their is only one LOVES truck stop along I-80 in Nebraska. Can you guess where it is?

A. North Platte
B. Ashland
C. Minden
D. Aurora

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Last night, as the first leg of our big trip, we went to Glenwood Iowa (my hometown) for the viewing of my Grandfather, Arthur Goehring. He lived 97 years here before God took him home. 

He had been married a couple of times so we met with his other children and their families and had dinner together before heading to the mortuary. Once there, it hit my kids a little hard, this being our first time dealing with death as a family. But then we started rejoicing that grandpa is with Jesus. The rest of the night, it was a celebration, remembering him, and rejoicing that he was finally home. 

Many people visited from the First Christian Church in Glenwood, where my other grandfather used to be the pastor. My grandpa attended there and made an impact on people's lives. He farmed for over 20 years, sold insurance for another 20 years, and then spent two years in the Phillipines with the Peace Corps. 

He lived a great life, and is now with Jesus, and that's a testimony that we can all aspire to achieve one day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner - Lead the way

2 Samuel 8:15-18 - David's team

This passage lists the names of David's key leaders. Verse 15 states that David was a great leader over Israel and that he took care of the people. One of the ways he did this was by building a great team. In bringing key leaders onboard, he was taking care of the people, because he was insuring that his leadership would be balanced and full of vision. 

When we try to lead things on our own, we might have some level of success. But when we fail, or when we move on, it will all fall apart. Too many times I've seen a youth group crumble to shreds when the strong leader moved on. When we build a team, it is providing for the future, and making them ministry more important that something that is just based on one man or woman. We are building something that is bigger than ourselves. 

There are many things that are important to building a successful ministry for God. One of the most important, and one that I believe is often overlooked, is the importance of building a team.

Who are you surrounding yourself with in ministry; who's on your team?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Congratulations to Pastor Tim for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Friday's Trivia. The pastor in the picture is Matt Richardson, new youth pastor for Omaha Christian Center. He was on the Ninja team at camp, thus the crazy outfit.

There are no mention of ninjas in the Bible, but there are many stories which deal with the warriors of Israel. Who were the two greatest warriors of Israel in the Old Testament, based on battles won and land acquired?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons - Retired Missionaries

Yesterday was the last day of our Family Camp in Nebraska.

We had a closing service honoring two recently retired Nebraska Missionaries, Gene Schacterle and Jerry Spain. They both had been in ministry for over 40 years and spent much of their time in Africa.

They both were given a chance to talk about their joy in ministry. Both spoke about how God called them to go to the mission field. One was at a STL youth rally, and the other was at a youth camp service. He even pointed to the spot at the camp where he remembered sensing that call. That eventually led to him denying a full ride scholarship to NU for track and going to Bible college. They both spoke of how BGMC and STL helped them with funds for necessary supplies. 

It was a wonderful time to be inspired by the example of humble, successful servants of God. It was also a great time to see the importance of what we do in Nebraska Youth Ministries. Camps, conventions, youth rallies, STL, BGMC... they are all making a difference for the kingdom of God

Friday, July 10, 2009


Family Fest is going GREAT! Dwayne Jones is speaking and Dominick Warne is leading worship. We are loving it.

Congratulations to KEVIN LIBBY for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner of Tuesday's trivia. He has won $2 to be used on any Nebraska Youth Ministries event or piece of merchandise. Way to go Kevin!

Today's question/challenge: Can you name what city in Nebraska the man above youth pastors in?

A. Omaha
B. York
C. Lincoln
D. Chappell
E. Kearney

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday - Paying back debts

                          One of the Busch boys, with our camp animals

I'm at Family camp in Lexington. Yesterday was a great day of hanging out withe pastors and their families at the lake at Camp Arrowhead.

At camp last month, a lady came to me with a letter. I opened it up and it was an old letter that had been sent to her from my office back in 2000. I wasn't the DYD at the time so I didn't remember it. The letter was informing her that $40 of her camp registration hadn't been paid, and it requested that she pay off the remainder of her account.

Though it was 2009, she came to me with the letter and a check for $40. I was so impressed that she paid it back, even though it took her a long time to do it.

Are there any outstanding debts in your account that you can take care of today, even if they occurred years ago?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leader's Corner - Take a Risk

I'm impressed by the story of Joseph of Arimathea. It's mentioned in Matthew 27:57-60.

He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. That was a bold move.

Remember, all of Jesus' main disciples ran away in fear that they might follow Jesus in persecution and death. But Joseph, a lesser known follower of Jesus', risked everything to go and give Jesus a proper burial, to honor Him in death.

I'm always impressed when someone gets the guts to stand up on their own, to do something no one else is willing to do. The student that helps out a buddy when they are getting picked on or beat up. The student praying by themselves at the flagpole. The last person cleaning up after everyone else left. The single mom who came to work at camp. The person who gave everything they had in the offering, regardless of the amount.

We have heroes among us that sometimes go unnoticed. I encourage to find the 'Josephs' among your ministry and honor them today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                                  Waiting in line to eat at camp

Hello everyone,

What a day. I mowed my yard, which is full of cotton. My cotton tree is shedding at a furious pace I can't keep up with. Any ideas?

Here's today's question. Remember - comment back and we'll choose a correct comment at random to be our $2 prize winner:

I'm preparing a message for a camp that I'm speaking at in two weeks. I'm using this popular verse; can you remember what book of the the Bible it is located in:

'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes'

A. Acts
B. Romans
C. 1 Corinthians
D. 2 Corinthians
E. Galatians

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons - Post Camp

                                        Loving the Air Cannons at Kids Kamp

Today is the first weekday after our 4 youth and kids camps in Nebraska. Over the past 4 weeks, we have been blogging testimonies from camp. Now, we will return to our normal weekly schedule, which is as follows:

Monday - Life Lessons - true stories with lessons woven in
Tuesday - Bible Trivia - a question worth $2 to be used on NYM merchandise or events
Wednesday - Leader's Corner - leaders based devotional from the Bible
Thursday - Testimonies - true stories from our network in Nebraska
Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE? - Nebraska trivia also worth $2 in NYM material

Over the past four weeks, we changed up our schedule, and we picked up a few more followers. Many people from churches commented to me that they appreciated the testimonies and the change of pace. Sometimes, changing things up can bring a fresh desire and excitement. Don't be afraid to break up the normal routine now and then, it might do some good.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday - Kids Kamp

Today was our last day of camp and it was awesome. Our students performed their fun arts presentations and everyone headed home. Though finishing a day early, it felt like a very full camp, and for the first time since I've become the DYD, we didn't send home any HOMESICK campers. Maybe the age breakdown helped some in that matter????

Next week is our last camp. (We had to cancel our sports camp for lack of registrations. We hope to do it again next year if we progress in our relationships with schools) Family Fest - Thursday, July 9th-Sunday July 12th. 

We could still use some more volunteers helpers to work on our rec staff/dish crew. The total at the camp will probably be around 150 people, so the work is not that hard, and Mike Maroney and Todd Mohrmann will be our rec directors again (just like Youth Camp 2).

Let me know if you'd like to come and help (and it's free!) Thanks

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday - Kids Kamp 2009

Today is the last full day of Kids Kamp this year. We will end our camp tomorrow, to have Friday as an open day for our holiday weekend.

Here's a recap of what God has been doing at camp, as of yesterday!

- One of our 'fun arts' leaders is working on a human video for the students. We take for granted that the kids know everything about the cross and Jesus. Yet, one of the students asked her 'why is he coming back to life. I thought we killed him?' She went on to explain the truth of the resurrection and teach him the truth.

- A leader had learned that her niece had been born Monday night. They found a large bump on her back and were concerned. We began to pray for her. Last night, after service, she called and found out that God has started to heal her from this bump.

- A leader and some of his rec staff friends prayed for his younger brother to be filled with the Spirit. He was, and the God also filled 2 other boys who were praying for him nearby.

- A leader had a daughter that had come to one of our youth camps. She had prayed to be filled with the Spirit, but it didn't happen at that time. Last night, she was praying for a student to be filled with the Spirit, and while she was praying, she was filled with the Spirit herself. It seemed that God waited until she was in ministry to do it for her, when she wasn't focused on herself at all.

- A leader told about a simple moment where she was praying for one of her students, and she began to speak in tongues. They both stopped praying suddenly at the same time, and they felt like the heaviness of God's glory just descended upon them. They looked at each other, and knew that they'd both experienced it. The girl said, 'That's so cool!'

- A young girl asked her dorm leader why she raised her hand in worship. She was able to explain it, realizing that she'd never really explained it to her kids before. In worship, a little girl ran up to the dorm leader and asked, 'can I raise my hands now?' Later on, they were all standing there worshipping God with hands in the air. 3 of her girls were filled with the Spirit later on that night.

- A dorm leader put up some poster board and has the girl write down names of people they want to pray for. Every time they went to the dorm, they take care of their prayer posters. Now, when they walk into the room, even in the middle of the day, they pull out their posters and do it on their own. At night, they pray before going to bed, together, about the things on their poster.