Thursday, April 26, 2012

Papa and Nana and Grandkids

Papa and all the Grandkids

The Mystery of Ministry

Nouwen offers a challenge in the following words that are difficult for most ministers. I believe most of us have an inflated view of ourselves. We see ourselves as the life connection for people, in other words their destination rather than a conduit for their destination of finding the love and grace of God. "laying down your life means making your own faith and doubt, hope and despair, joy and sadness, courage and fear available to others as ways of getting in touch with the Lord of life. We are not the healers, we are not the reconcilers, we are not the givers of life. We are sinful, broken, vulnerable people who need as much care as anyone we care for. The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God."

Just Like Peter

I don't know about you but I find myself readily identifying with Peter more than I care to admit. It seems I am quick to swear allegiance to Christ in my prayer time then quickly find myself denying his existence with my words that maim others, actions that speak of the flesh more than the spirit and attitudes that originate out of self-centered will rather than a humble spirit. Yet I find comfort that Jesus still used Peter to build the church. He used a stumbling, bumbling, cursing, fisherman, to help carry forth the gospel message. Who better to speak of God's grace than one who has experienced the depth of their own sinful heart and the heights of the infinite grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Seth's Blog: Do you have a people strategy?

Seth's Blog: Do you have a people strategy?

Great reminder for anyone or any organization whose most precious commodity is people.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First Visit from the Toothfairy

Nouwen on Leadership

"the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." "Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time.their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance." Preparing for a college ministry retreat later in May and came across these great insights from Henri Nouwen. Isn't the temptation to be relevant one of the greatest challenges facing the church in 2012.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Graduate Letters

I have spent some time today working on letters to the class of 2012. Several years ago I began the practice of writing letters to our graduates with a word or two of encouragement and perhaps a memory or two from their time in the youth group. It's a bittersweet moment each year. It always brings a smile to my face and the occasional tear as I look back on how God has worked in a particular student's life. This group is especially difficult for me because it was the group I began my ministry with at FBC Statesboro...but I get to keep working with many of them as they begin their collegiate careers at Georgia Southern University in the fall.

Wisdom from Bob Dylan

I love this song more and more the older I get. 
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young.

Such a great prayer for future generations. Working with youth and college students now for more than a decade has taught me that young people have a way of looking at faith that can be a model for those of us who are older, usually in age and faith. They remind us to trust God in all circumstances and to totally rely on him. Sometimes as adults that can be a challenge because we rationalize and categorize our faith in so many different ways that we emasculate it to warming a pew and perhaps a Sunday school chair on Sunday mornings and nothing else.

My prayer for the students I work with now and the ones I have known through the years is that they would stay "forever young" in Christ...keeping that absolute trust and faith in Christ no matter what happens.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding God Along the Journey

Bubba Watson's tweet may make Augusta National nervous

My dad sent this to me this past week. As a kid who grew up watching the Dukes and even having a replica car come to one of my birthday parties, I would love to be able to witness just such an event next April! 
Bubba Watson's tweet may make Augusta National nervous

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tripp's First DQ Experience

A trip to DQ to reward the hard work of helping dad organize his new office.

Surprise Cake

A cake on the last night with the youth. They live to hear all my great jokes!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last Night at The Gathering

10 Things I’ve Learned Working with Youth at FBC Statesboro
1. You must always laugh at yourself because chances are everyone else is already laughing at you too.
2. You guys are smarter and braver than many people your age. 
3. You are fun to be around, funny looking at times and funny. 
4. You have a depth about you that so many students don’t have. You have a genuine hunger for Christ and to see God glorified and exalted in your lives. 
5. You are a very giving group. You are always willing to serve God and others. 
6. I wouldn’t have made it without caffeine in all its many forms these past 6 years, especially the trips, lockins, coffeetalk, etc. 
7. We have some of the most amazing youth parents, teachers, and volunteers in the world. 
8. Your passion for Jesus and people is contagious. 
9. You never get tired of my extensive knowledge of jokes. 
10. You’ve taught me to love people in my life, including you guys, deeper. 
11. You have taught me a reliance upon God’s Word even more than before in my life.