Thursday, July 31, 2008

Living it up at the Tigers Game

Every job has its up side, one of mine is that sometimes church members take me to local sporting events to encourage Jill and I. I have been to two Pistons games and two Tigers games in this way since I moved here 10 months ago. Once for the Pistons and now once for the Tigers I have gotten to sit in a luxury suite. For the Tigers game, not only did we get to sit in the nice area, we got to have all the food we wanted. It was awesome. The only problem is that it seemed like something besides baseball. Jill and I went downstairs to check out batting practice, and experienced all the sights, sounds, and SMELLS of baseball: when we got back up to the suite for the game it just wasn't the same. Something about the hot dogs, nuts, and pop corn that just say baseball. I am not knocking the ribs, chicken, and shrimp that we had in our suite, but it seemed more like a company Christmas party than a baseball game. So for the record, living it up in the suite is awesome, but you still have to sneak downstairs for a good ole hot dog! Enjoy the pics. (Yes I know that one of them is the Pistons, I had to throw it in two).
P.S. To the wonderful people that gave us these wonderful seats, do not be offended, we had a great time, and would love to do it again anytime.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

National Association of Free Will Baptist Convention

Well, it has been a long time since I have written, and the main reason is because I have either been out of town, or been recouping from being out of town. This past week was the National Convention in Charleston, West Virginia. We were glad to be there with 5000 other Free Will Baptist, but were also glad to leave. It was not a long trip down, but the inconveniences were many upon arriving.

The town, though nice, could not handle all of us. We were packed into the convention center like never before...and this was no where near the amount of people that normally come. Also, it has become tradition over the last couple of years to have people from the host state speak during the services, well, the first couple of services did not give a good showing. It improved much as the week progressed, which leaves the only complaint being the size of the city and the amount of space provided in Hotels, and in the Convention area. Well, we are glad to be back, and below you will find my ratings for this years event. (I would have posted pictures, but I have this thing with taking my camera with me but never taking it out of my pocket).

City: Charleston, WV - C- Just too small for us. Could have been worse if not for the nice words from the mayor. Also I am used to southern accents (I did grow up in Alabama), but the Charleston accent was difficult for me to follow at times.
Hotels - D+ The combination of 5 within a mile still did not equal what is needed. Also none of them had valet or full service bell staff.
Restaurants - A For sheer quantity. There was a nice food court, and probably 7 sit down restaurants within a block. Not to mention the fast food places 2 blocks away. Heck, even the Shriner's next door cooked out to feed us.
Convention Center - C Once again size was an issue, but on the bright side everything was easy to find.
Music - B+ Not as memorable as some years, but solid. Without the technical problems of Sunday night may have been an A
Speakers - C I thought this one would be a lot worse when the week started off. It got continually better, and this is a fluke. The Executive committee usually does a great job with this.
Seminars - A+ I was helped out a lot by the different seminars I went to, and every one that I have heard about went great. Of course this is leaving off the "Gathering of Youth Pastors" which fell flat, and was basically a waste of time.
Youth Services - B Was not present, but asked around. Heard good things about the music, but not so much about the speakers. Once again this is a fluke and will be remedied next year I am sure.
Youth Competition - A The amount of competitors was up, and it seemed to be a very enjoyable experience for all involved (although if someone will make the Bible Millionaire questions tougher it would be nice).

Overall - C+

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Drummond Island - Last Day

Well, we are on the road.  We have had a great week, and we are safely on the road.  We are attempting to catch the 1:10 ferry, so that should put us home around 8:30 or so.  See you soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Drummond Island: Day 5 and 6

The week is nearly over.  I think every student and every adult have mixed feelings about that fact.  On Thursday we spent an interesting day out of the lake.  I guess you have to have one day that doesn't work out perfectly.  The students were gracious, and enjoyed coming home and watching a movie.  Today was shopping and rest day.  We have one more service, please pray that all will go well in this last service of the week.  We will see you soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Drummond Island Day 4

WOW!!! What a day!! Another hike, another great view! The ledges was our destination today, a beautiful coastline, with a very deep drop off. The students loved the beauty, though I think the cold water and wind made them not enjoy it as much as they might have otherwise. The spiritual parts of our trip are going well, all the students are spending a half an hour in "God and I time" every morning, having a time of devotion with their small group every afternoon, and of course a evening service of praise and preaching. It is a great feeling for me to look out and see the students reading their Bibles and learning for themselves (Don't forget to ask them about their new Bibles). I am off, I have to go an help prepare the evening meal of BBQ Chicken, I cannot wait!!! Enjoy the Pictures

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 2 and 3 - Drummond Island

Yesterday was a great day of hiking and beauty. We had a wonderful trip to Marble Head Cliffs, of about 3 miles in, and three miles out (of course the students thought it was more like 10 miles). The beauty here is amazing, the teens are enjoying the nature all around us.
Today we are spending some time playing softball, then a good trip to the beach. The water is cold, but that hasn't stopped them yet! And whatever they tell you the mosquitoes are not bad! Please enjoy the pictures from our hike yesterday!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Drummond Island: Day One

We have safely made it to Drummond Island.  Upon arrival we ate dinner, had our first service, and played some team building games (That was when it started raining).  Everyone is excited, and looking forward to the week.  Hopefully the mosquitoes do not carry us away before the week is up.  Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.


It is ten till 9 and we are loading the bus, about to hit the road for Drummond Island. All the students are eager, and excited (though a little bummed by the whole no MP3 player thing). We should arrive at Drummond Island before 5pm tonight. Thanks for everything!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Theology Podcast

Teen Retreat!!!

It is nearly time for our Teen Retreat! That means I am incredibly busy. I have been involved in camps all of my life, I have done a lot with missions trips as well: but this is my first retreat to plan. It may sound like I have all the experience necessary, but the difference between being a Youth pastor taking your group to camp and a Youth pastor taking a group on a retreat is the amount of work that is involved. If you go to camp, all you have to do is get your kids there, then have a couple of devotions, or something like that. If you are going to do a retreat, it is all on you!!! I either have to do it all or find someone else to do it. We have a great group of Volunteers going that are helping out a lot, but even with great volunteers you have to have a great leader to get things done. I am still looking for that great leader. I know I am supposed to be that great leader, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

So nevertheless, here we are 60 hours from when we leave and I have about 70 hours left of work to do!!! I love teen retreats! The first time is always the best right, or at least the most interesting. I haven't pulled an all nighter since my Junior year of college, but Saturday night may have that in store for me. We will see how it goes. I look forward to giving an update. I am sure it will go well, and I know for sure there will be lots of great stories!!!

Summer Outreach

To be honest I am horrible with outreaches. That is horrible to say for a pastor, but what's worse is that I was a missionary as well. So, we are now in the season of Summer Outreach, in fact our first event is tonight. This one is easy because we get to piggy back off of the fireworks at Red Run Country Club across the street. We are expecting around 150 non church members to be on our lawn spending time with family and watching fireworks. It is a great opportunity for us to meet the community, get to know them, and hopefully let them know we are not crazy.

Anyway, it is an exciting time, but for some reason my all is not in it. It could be because I have a lot on my plate this week, or who knows what else. All that being said, I am looking forward to the Lord stretching me, I am going to play basketball with teens, hang out with college students, shake hands with parents, and play silly games with the kids. Hey, just cause I am bad at this kind of stuff doesn't mean I can't get better. Here it goes! Hey why don't you put yourself into something that is not your forte! Maybe God will stretch us together!