Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I had two best friends in years before going to kindergarten, Terry and PJ.  Terry lived across the street from me and taught me the ways of the world.  I learned the four major cusswords from Terry, ate some of the carmel cremes he stole from the store, smoked candy cigarettes with him on a daily basis and even vandalized  my next door neighbors house with him. (more on that another time)

PJ was my "good" friend.  He didn't teach me bad things or get me into trouble for doing things that we shouldn't.  We hung out in his house a lot and he was always excited to see me.  PJ was a lot older than I was but it wasn't weird that he liked hanging out with me so much.  We liked to wrestle in the yard and run all over the neighborhood.  PJ was our family dog.  He was a beagle and my favorite pet of all time.  He was more than just the family pet to me, he was my best friend.

Katie and I have been talking about getting a dog of our own.  I know I know, it seems a very cliche thing to do.  You get married and then 6 months or a year later you get a dog.  The plan is to get the dog in the fall when things from the summer settle down.  Because of our experiences with Tyra, John Coffee and Miley we are going to get a lab.  I will be sure and post more about it and include some pictures when we get Brutus (Shhh don't tell Katie I have already named the dog)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Student Leadership

There are some things that just seem to go together, that just seem right together. A hot dog and a bag of peanuts at a baseball game, going swimming and drinking lemonade in the summer, drinking hot coffee on a chilly fall evening on your porch and having a student leadership team as apart of your student ministry.

I can't imagine not having student leadership as apart of student ministry. It seems like any student ministry worth its salt has a student leadership team. But the question that we had to ask ourselves was why do we need one. In my first year of working for Park Chapel I tried to implement this program without answering the question. The leadership team never really got off the ground and I believe it was because we had not answered this question.

Almost a year and a half later Danny Curry and myself sat down and started to answer the question of why and for what purpose do we establish a student leadership team. We came up with four reasons why we felt led to establish such a team.

Leverage and Influence-Influencing the students who are ready to step up in order that they can influence other students is worth a great amount of our time and energy.

Leadership Training-We believe that it is necessary for us to develop the leaders that will be leading the church in the future.

Another Layer of Discipleship-We know that there are students who are ready to take the next step in their discipleship process and student leadership is an avenue in which they can get that kind of discipleship.

Facilitates Communication-It is vital that we communicate to the students we want to be a positive influence for us. It is equally important for them to be able to communicate to our teen staff and volunteers. Being on the same page with our students will make us a much more effective student ministry.

Once we understood why we needed a student leadership team we also needed to establish what this group was going to look like. The expectations that we have of our student leaders are extremely high and we realized that just the average student would probably not want to be responsible for fulfilling these expectations. We were intentional in doing this so as to not create just another small group, or something easy that they can put on a resume, but actually something they have to desire and work at.

I have been so encouraged and excited to see the students who have committed to this thus far. We are already seeing some great results and we anticipate seeing many more. We are leaving Sunday on our mission trip and I can't wait to see how God is going to use the student leaders to make an impact during this week. Please be praying for us.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

You can't hide the red....or can you?

It has been two full years since I graduated from the fine institution on the banks of the French Broad River. So many things have changed in these two years. One, I don't have to sell my plasma to make money anymore. I have a job with a great church and a great staff. Two, my roomate is no longer a guy. Katie is by far the best roomate I have had, no offense Zube. And three, I can no longer stay up until 2 in the morning watching movies and eating Taco Bell. I am usually asleep by 10:30 and if I even look at Taco Bell past 8:00 I can almost bet I will be up at 2:00 chugging down a bottle of Pepto Bismol.

But the biggest change in my life is my Redneck-ness. I have noticed subtle things that have hinted at some redneck tendencies but I have chalked up them up as coincindencies, but now I am not to sure. Since moving to Greenfield. I have purchased a truck, rifle and shotgun. My friend Steve helped my build a motocycle complete with a King and Queen seat and an American flag tank. My radio dial is set to HANK FM and I often catch myself grinning and sining along to songs like Redneck Yaght Club. But the kicker happened today. I found myself googling information on the start of squirrel hungting season. (Which is August 15 if anyone is interested)

When did this happen is the the question I continue to ask myself. Have I always had redneck tendencies or is this something I have picked up from the people around me. My friend Dean continues to tell me that I can't hide the red. But its troubling, how did I go from listening to Death Cab to Montgomery Gentry. I used to google when the next Nada Surf show was and now I google when the next hungting season starts. Again this troubles me.

But I will press on. I will continue to be lead a double life. I will blare Ryan Adams as I clean my guns and I will continue to read Field & Stream as I sit in the cool trendy new coffee house. Because as much as Dean likes to think that you can't hide the red, I think I will try