Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Monday

- Had a great, great time at the 2:8 Weekend. It's the first time Jon and I have ever combined a retreat. We combined 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and had a retreat geared toward teaching kids how to share their faith and challenging them to do so. The theme verse was 1 Thessalonians 2:8 and the challenge was share your faith with 2 friends in 8 weeks. We had many kids commit to doing that and also had 9 kids make decisions for Jesus! Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend.

I think it was a good combination of fun and seriousness. Fun stuff: a dance competition, bowling, an American Idol contest, dodge ball tourney, video games ... and just hanging out. Serious stuff: 2 challenges from Darrin Holsopple on being sold out for God and what it means to be saved and 2 "break out" sessions ... 1 on sharing your story and another on tools for sharing God's story. It really was a good time, but only getting 3 hours of sleep Friday night ... well, it takes me a bit longer to recover from that than it used too.

- Just found out about 2 deaths. One is the mother of a girl who occasionally attends axis. She was 38 and died of cancer. We've been praying for this young girl and the entire family. The other was of a man who has been a regular attendee of Grace for a few years. He's been in poor health ever since I've known him, but was always cheerful and praising God. When I heard of his death, I was sad for a few moments and then really just happy for the guy. He's in heaven feeling better than he ever has in years and is worshipping at the feet of Jesus!

- I'm getting geared up for the National Youth Ministries Conference this weekend. I'm very excited to go and looking forward to learning and hopefully being able to connect with other youth pastors. This will be my third year going and I have always come back refreshed and encouraged. This year I'm attending a track on student leaders. I'm really wanting to invest more in my leaders and just want to see how others have done that. It will also be nice to have a weekend away with Carol and Mercy. Carol's not going to the conference but will be staying at the hotel and she's bringing Mercy too.

- I'm looking forward to teaching in axis on Wednesday. This Wednesday will be a very practical teaching time on what we can do to take care of the environment. We'll start recycling at axis this Wednesday and I'm looking forward to implementing more of these things at home and in axis. I have a few video ideas that I'd like to use for illustrations, so hopefully all goes well.

- Half Marathon training is coming along OK. I ran 6 miles on Friday ... have a 7 mile run scheduled for this weekend.

- Went to a party last night for some friends who lost their daughter last year. Yesterday was her birthday and they just had a celebration for her ... on display were here favorite books, and pictures. They also had some of her favorite foods and we just spent time talking about her. It was very special.

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