Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thank You to Joshua Dildine for the design on our logo for Catalyst. I will be chronicling how launching a new high school ministry environment changes the feel and look of our junior high school ministry environment (Turnpike). I'm very excited and can't wait for January 6th to roll around. I think students are going to be very surprised at what we've got planned for them. Check back frequently to see our progress!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Yesterday I recieved a bi-monthly newsletter that the Youth Transition Network, (they also run this site) puts out. Recently they conducted a survey of on camera interviews, which are partially viewable via youtube, with 700 high school and college students. Here are some of the highlights from their article entitled:
"The Power of Positive Prevention!"
"The interviews seems to indicate that students with open parents who invest in relationship rather than rules and allow their teens to make decisions about the activities they will participate in are more mature and leading much less of a dual life than the students whose parents depend upon restrictions and consequences to protect and prevent sin in their teens' lives...
...The parents who laid down their lives for their daughter, focusing on discussion and relationship while sacrificing their control over her, gave her no reason to hide her sin. In fact, she said during the interview on camera that, the thing she will miss most when she leaves for college next year is her ability to talk with her parents about everything in her life...
[This paragraph is about two families. One that put a lot of rules in front of their daughter and another who allowed her to make more decisions on her own.]...Their [parents] percieved gamble [releasing control over their student] paid off; their teen, who attends parties (like Jesus and the disciples did), is a non-drinking virgin who sees the foolishness of the party scene for what it is. The other girl whose parents depended upon restriction and consequences, had a daughter who, with the help of her Christian friends, subverted the rules when to parties, ended up having sex and the ensuing guilt has led to even deeper issues in her young life...
...Recent studies show that adolescence is lasting longer and longer, ranging into the mid-twenties in our youth culture today...
...In short it appears that the longer we treat them as kids, the longer they behave like kids!...
...In Biblical times, this [maturity development] happened young: at 12, 13, 14 years old they were getting married. As our culture has become more dangerous, we have extended our protection and thus attempted control of our teens up to the day they graduate and then boom (!) they leave home and the freedom hits them in the face...
...Unfortunately it appears many parents believe that the rules and control are working because their teens are obedient at home and getting good grades...
...They say they are great actors and liars and that they are getting aroudn the rules and controls, because they work together to do so!...
...Thus, they do not learn, but rather wallow in their shallow and destructive victory over a perceived oppression...
...Maybe God designed our kids to start making some important decisions for themselves, younger. Maybe when we control them past twelve, they really do take this as a lack of belief and trust, as they say they do. Maybe this robs them of the most powerful prevention tool: 1) The relationship of a parent that offers belief in their ability to follow God and make good decisions. 2) The trust that teens seek, which Jesus extended to His disciples even after they deserted Him. 3) The grace to not pounce when they, like the disciples, do dumb things."
What do you think?
Technorati tags: the, power, of, positive, prevention, college, high, school, senior, leaving, home, freedom, liveabove.com, youth, transition, network, .org, adolescence, church, Jesus, God, dual, lives, trust, hope, parties, choices, wisdom, parenting, parents
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"There is a comedian that we watched the other night. His name is Jim Gaffigan. If you go on youtube he does a bit on hot pockets that is hillarious"
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
After our services we had to move all of our equipment (the whole church enventory) to our new site! Wow, that was energizing. More on the move and what happens as a result in the days and weeks to come.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
High school students don't necessarily want to be around these types of hands on games. At least ours don't. But let's imagine for a minute that there were no junior high students in their environment. Oh look, now's there's room for the goofy students to shine, the loud ones to roar and the stoic ones to be stoic in the midst of crazy high schoolers.
I am really excited to see how our high school dynamic changes when we launch Catalyst!
Monday, December 03, 2007
I can't wait because...
- We'll have our own space that doesn't feel like a school
- The room students meet in won't be called "lecture 1"
- We can blow people's expectations out of the water by not becoming "churchy"
- We won't need less volunteers (as some people suspect) but many more for the hundreds that will be coming to check us out
- My commute on Sundays will be shorter :)
- Set-Up/Tear-Down...not much
- We will be able to launch a new ministry for high school students (Catalyst)
- Re:action, our new college ministry, will be able to move into a larger space than my living room
- Erica's car won't be full of supplies all the time :P
- We can have adequate space and technology to train our volunteers like they should be trained
- God is going to rock our socks off with how he's going to use the facility for his glory
- The community can see a physical presence to represent we are a real church
- People who come every once-in-a-while because they hate sitting in our folding blue chairs, will be there more frequently
- 5th and 6th grades will be able to launch into their own environment (once we build the team)
- Turnpike, our Jr. High environment, will be without High Schoolers for once...which will enable them to grow (because small trees don't get much light in a tall forrest)
- All of our High Schoolers will have no excuse for serving during the 10:45am service hour, because their environment will be moved to the evening!
- And more...
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I left last night completely relaxed. There are certain people that radiant a peaceful presence. One of those people is my Grandma. When she touches my hands, it's ever-so-lightly, so gentle that it almost tingles. Erica had to drive home because I was alsmot asleep when we walked out to the car. I love my Grandma. Her presence demands that my soul be still before the Lord and find rest.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
- a volunteer
- a volunteer
- a senior student
"I thought Sunday was great as well. Greg spoke truth and it provoked some good questions. I had the 8th & 9th grade girls but they didn't seem to discuss the message like I had hoped. Later that night as I spoke with my student and I asked him if his life looked different then his non Christian friends. The conversation got pretty deep. The short version is sometimes he feels like he is missing out on what looks like fun, cool behavior because he is a Christian. Anyways maybe you can turn that in to a message some Sunday. I know I felt that way as a teenager & as an adult some times. I'm sure there are other kids out there that feel the same way."
- a volunteer and a parent
Monday, November 05, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
If you visit the link above you're going to see some remarkable imagery of the wildfire currently raging in Malibu, Ca. The Malibu Castle, Malibu Presbyterian Church and several other private homes have burned down. Students on Pepperdine University's campus were "evactuated" to the field house, library and cafeteria. Nathan Rix, senior, was there to report it all.
Nathan was on CNN. He'll be on FOX News and Hannity and Colmes later today. Click above to watch his CNN interview.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This is a picture of Tokyo taken by Matthew Clark Photography.
Look at all those lights! It's crazy. I wonder how many of those lights represent the people who follow Christ in Tokyo. I've been thinking about the shear mass of people on the planet and the percentage of that mass that actually follows Christ.
On a typical Sunday morning I think, "Wow, that's awesome that this many students chose to come to our student ministry environment today!" But lately I've been attending some high school football games and it has opened my eyes. We have just a few handfuls of the students that are in our community. There are actually thousands! Thousands of lost souls, thousands of empty-dying people, thousands of people Christ loves and wants to be close with!
I want to start praying this prayer: "God, give us Clovis. Not for our glory, but Yours!"
Robbie Seay Band - Give Yourself Away
David Crowder Band - Remedy
Leeland - Sound of Melodies
Jackson Waters - Come Undone
Tim Hughes - Holding Nothing Back
Hillsong United - All of the Above
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I've been catching snipets of this webcast. Basically they put the entire conference ("Innovate") on the web for free. You didn't even have to go to be a part of the conversation and see what creative things churches are doing. Check it out, it's awesome!
Monday, October 08, 2007
"Hi, my name is __________. I am a senior at Clovis West. I attended New Harvest for the first time today and, I must admit, I fell in love. For the first time, I really opened my heart up to Jesus and felt the power and grace of our Savior. I am looking forward to joining the youth group and was hoping for some information about that. Where do you meet? What times? And any other important information. Thank you and God bless."
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I just came back from a lunch with some youth workers (Northpark, Mountain View, New Hope, FCA, Youth For Christ, EV Free the Bridge) in the area. They invited me to Fugazzi's for a free lunch...how can I say no? Evidently the bistro is owned by a Christian and gives free lunches to this network of youth pastors and workers when they meet there. (So, go support them, it's good food.) The purpose of the meeting was for Red Ribbon Week, which is a big deal in the Clovis Unified School District. Since these churches and organizations support what the schools are trying to do through RRW, they capitalize on the events they do. Locally, we're bringing in Stephen Lungu to speak at several Clovis and Fresno schools. Following those assemblies, there will be two huge outreach events. The Clovis even is scheduled for Oct. 24th @ 7pm-8:30pm. It will be at Clovis Hills. Basically the goal is to hook students through the speaker and assembly, offer them free pizza if they come to Clovis Hills that night and then while they are there...share the gospel. The follow up work will be done by the youth workers that volunteered to help. We're praying for God to give us Clovis. Give us the hearts of these teens so that we can point them toward Jesus. It's a pretty cool event and opportunity.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Tomorrow morning I'm speaking at Mountain View Christian School's Wednesday morning chapel service. I've done it three times now and it's one of the most rewarding guest-speaking engagements I regularly accept. The students know me by name there. Only the problem is, my name is not my real name...they know me as "the cheez-it guy." I guess if you tell something memorable to elementary school kids, they remember it because it was funny. Evidently, I was funny that first time I spoke about what I've found in my couch cushions.
Tomorrow's topic will be Courage. I'm going to use Deuteronomy 31:1-8 as my story. But the main verse is famous, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." In my elementary years I had many instances where courage was required...don't you remember being afraid to be in the dark? On the side bar I'm going to create a poll of fears, please click the ones that have applied to you.
Monday, October 01, 2007
On Saturday we joined a gym here in Clovis, Ca. It's called GB3. It's the first time I've ever done this sort of thing. I'm not a very fit person and I don't regularly workout. But now, now that we've spent...I need a return on my investment. We're going to try to get to the gym for an hour four times a week. I'm starting out on the tredmill. Yesterday we went for about fourty-five minutes and I ran 1.5 miles and biked. On their bikes, as long as you pedal you can surf the net. It's a great feature. I checked up on the blog world while I biked! Love that!
Part of the reason I wanted to join a gym is because it's a huge part of our culture here in Clovis/Fresno. Most people here spend an average of ten to fifteen hours a week at the gym. (statistic totally and completely fabricated by my own perceptions) Seriously though, the students I work with are fitness crazy. They won't eat donuts or candy (much) because they know they'll have to work harder in the gym! I was not that way. I was a McDonald's once-a-day kind of guy while I was in High School. So this whole healthy thing, it's new to me. But I know it's better in the long (and short) run.
Check back to see my progress.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
After more than a year I'm getting the itch to write again. This time it's not short stories, screenplays or books. It's simply articles. I've written in the past for Relevant Magazine and Campus Crosswalk. So, check back in a few days and I may have a link to a new article.
One more thing, I added a new blog link. Check Phillip McCart out, he's got some great insights into student ministry.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Today, all across the country, students met at their local school's flagpole to pray at an event called See You At The Pole. I went to Buchanan High School and watched students come together of their own accord and pray for their schools and friends. God is good! I think BHS had about 150-200 students, Clovis North (the new school in town) had just under 100. It felt good to see students like Andrew Balch, Taylan Bennett and Kaleb Smith join in the circle. If you've never seen this sight in person, you should watch next year. It's good!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Chris Tomlin is coming to Fresno and we're going to the concert. Last time I saw him was about a year ago at Great America. It was THE best worship experience I've ever had. His songs resonate with what my spirit knows is true. The concert is Nov. 3rd (Sat.) @ Warnor's Theater. Get your tickets here.
We are also going to see Casting Crowns, Leeland and John Waller @ The Big Fresno Fair on Oct. 3rd (Wed.). We'll be there with Paul and Jenn Haugen. You can get your tickets here.
Recently I posted about a church in Georgia that challenged their congregation to donate school supplies for kids in Baghdad. They did one announcement, one email, and one blog post and this was the response they got...
You can check out their blog post here.
God is good!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Our Pastor of Community Life needs your prayers. Kelly Rosenthal and his family are on an emotional rollercoaster. Please read his latest blog entry and put him on your prayer list and your church's prayer list.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've recently started reading the official church blog of Buckhead Church in the ATL (AT). Last Sunday, September 16th, they challenged their church to gather school supplies and raise money to provide help for kids in Baghdad that have nothing. They just did a series on stewardship and felt that they shouldn't waste the momentum that had been built up. You can read about the challenge and follow up at the two following links:
My challenge to you is to get on board with someone doing something great to change the world for Christ. You can jump on the Buckhead bandwagon or choose something else, but please give.
In Fresno on Oct. 6th there's something called "Light the Night Walk" to raise support, awareness and money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Participants can walk with a red balloon or a white balloon (white is reserved for cancer survivors). If you live in Fresno, that's one way to give.
No matter where you live, there are hundreds of opportunities for you to volunteer or raise money for a worthy cause. You can order a pair of shoes from Tom's Shoes and the company will automatically match your purchase with a gift to a child somewhere in the world who can not afford a shoes.
You can pledge to give $30-35 a month to make sure one child somewhere in the world, usually a third world country, will eat, get education and be introduced to Jesus through your genorosity until they are old enough to care for themselves. (World Vision and Compassion International)
(Pictures from Mission Mexico '06)
My birthday is this coming Sunday, September 23rd. I'll be 26-years-old! If you intend on sending me a card or gift, I'd like you to do something different. Don't give me anything but an email or comment that says, "I decided to take my twenty bucks and give it to a charity." Or something along those lines. That's one of the best gifts I can get. Give my gift to someone in real poverty, someone without hope, someone who needs to be filled with the joy of the Lord.
God bless you and remember that hope is a gift and YOU have the power to give it!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Check out what I came across today...any challengers? Jason?
LucasArts to Unleash the Force on the Wii in Spring 2008
Star Wars™: The Force Unleashed™ Coming to Nintendo's Platform with Exclusive Duel Mode
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Sept. 18, 2007 - LucasArts today revealed that Star Wars™: The Force Unleashed™ will come to the Wii™ home videogame system from Nintendo next spring, offering owners the unique chance to live out their Jedi fantasies by wielding the Wii Remote™ as a lightsaber while using the Nunchuk™ controller to torment foes with their Force™ powers.
The Force Unleashed casts players as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The game's expansive story is set during the largely unexplored era between Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. In it, players will assist the iconic villain in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi - and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny.
The Wii version, in development by Krome Studios, will also add an exclusive duel mode in which players can compete head-to-head with their friends to determine the ultimate Jedi Master.
"The Wii is a great platform for The Force Unleashed, because the console's motion-oriented controllers really bring the game to life," said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts. "We've worked hard to make the Wii version of the game unique in order to truly let you unleash the Force."
Monday, September 17, 2007
This past Friday, Erica and I went to Game Stop to purchase a gift card for her cousin's birthday, Bobby (10-years-old). We went in and I had been viewing a video about the Wii earlier in the week on another blog. We both gravitated to the wall with the Wii and the games. We went in with the intention of buying a gift card and came out with the card + a Wii! We're counting it for our birthdays!
Paul will have his pictures up soon on his blog.