Monday, December 19, 2005

Child of a King

I read this a few weeks ago and loved it, this is a great principle to teach students. "The child of a king can never live like a peasant." We recently did a teaching series called Starving at the Feast where we discussed the old testament feasts and also talked about how we have so much freedom, power and resources right in front of us that we never claim. It is essential to students to know that they are children of the king that they have been offered a good life and a great inheritance. It seems to me that our students allow society to give them a name, when society has no power to name us. We have been named by the king we have been given the freedom to be who we are and we have been given the resources to live successfully here on earth. Here is a writing from my journal from a few weeks ago.....

The child of a king still living in the gutter
A heart that can't sing in the middle of my clutter.
The prisoner set free to lock himself away
the masters painting covered to avoid the fray.
This is where I live
making life about ability
to earn to gain
to feel no no pain
to create some dysfunctional reality.
Lord bring me to the day when I will see
all you give and all you see
The freedom I have to live in you
with you living in me.

All of us in youth ministry have the ability to help our students claim the true name they have been given. Make it your goal to teach your students that they are children of the king! Maybe some where along the way we will also understand how incredible this promise is and we will live like children of the king! One of my ideas for an upcoming teaching series is simply called Names where we talk about who has the power to name us?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

30minutes

So the other day, this student that I know from a past ministry calls me up and reminds me about an appoitment that I had made to "hang out". Honestly I was not in the mood. Sometimes I am never in the mood, especially when your in the position of watching your favorite escapist show on TV sipping on some Coke. I agreed to the appoitment and began asking myself what did I just do? Ii actually had several prayers of honesty about the whole attitude of the situation. I let Him know that I was not in the mood. Little did I know the whole night with this student came down as a set up for the last 30 minutes, I would spend with him. We did the hangout thing with dinner and some coffee, and that went cool and was about what I expected. The unexpected was the outlet of issues he started throwing out on the way home. Angry described his comments, which to this passive kid who never shows too much in the way of real connection to what I say, was huge. It lead to a question in his drive way which in turn led to us getting the Bible out in the driveway and dealing with the attitude of the older brother in the story of the prodigal son. That whole night was about 30 minutes. Time which God had setup in advance for a deep kingdom connection to be made. There are lots of times when I must realize the things we get tired of are often a setup for the moment in which God will unleash conversations, we thought would never happen.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Adventures in Missing the Point

Yesterday and today I took a few days to get away and rest. December is our down time and ministry is tough sometimes, there are moments when you feel incredibly discouraged, moments when you feel like all of your effort is in vain and moements when you want to kill the junior high boys more than you want to take them out for a coke. I'm so thankful to be a part of a church that values me, my family, my walk with the Lord. I was once told that it was unrealistic to imagine that I would work less than 55 hours a week in ministry and that ministry came first if you were really called by God. I'm so thankful that this doesn't have to be true! My relationship with the Lord comes first and is completely seperate from my ministry. My family comes second and my ministry is next. Everything is slowing down for your ministries now, so take a day and get alone with God, take a day off and surprise your wife with a great date, take your kids outside and show them the joy of taking a day to put Christmas lights on the house. Sometimes in ministry its easy to miss the point, I thank the Lord for showing me what comes first and for giving me a place to work that doesn't miss the point!

Reggie White

There was a terrific story about Reggie White and his faith on ESPN Monday night live tonight - Talked about how Reggie was learning Hebrew and traveled to the holy land near the end of his life. Spoke of the Torah and Reggies goal to know the original text. Very interesting and would be a great discussion starter for students. I am going to try to get the video.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Bowling

Bucks vs Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl
Should be a good one!
Go Bucks - I'm going to guess 31 - 17 Bucks -
I do worry about Charlie Weiss having 3 weeks to prepare for us.
Any predictions on bowl games?
Texas beats USC
Penn St beats Florida St
Georigia beats West Virginia

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Malcolm

Malcolm Gladwell who for my money is one of the top authors in our country writes for the New Yorker frequently. Here is a great article about how Rick Warren built his ministry! A little long but terrific article.

http://www.gladwell.com/2005/2005_09_12_a_warren.html

Great read.

Ben

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Belief

So today I spoke at the Christian school in town for the jr high and high school chapel services. It was a disasterous morning when I got to church the power was out which meant I couldn't print my manuscript for the message and since I had written it a few weeks ago and not looked at it since I knew I couldn't wing it. So after a long ordeal i decided to pull out an old message and teach it, it went well.

After I was done with high school an older man I'm guessing one of the teachers got up and asked a group of kids to come on the stage, apparently they were students who went recently to a mock government assembly of some sort. I didn't quite understand what they did, but the teacher was so proud of them. There was this moment that just stuck out in my mind and made me think (That this is a huge ministry moment). The teacher was talking about one of the boys who seemed like a timid shy kid, he then said, "this young man is one day going to be a news anchor and he will be incredible." The kids face lit up and he smiled for the rest of the service. One of the most important things I have ever done is told kids I believe in you! Each of us need to look for more moment to acknowledge our kids or pull them aside and say "you are going to be great!" Try to find a kid in your group this week and tell them how much you believe in them!

During every missions trip I have ever led I have had a moment at the end where the adults would speak truth and belief into their students lives. I am always amazed at how a few kind words and some adults saying I believe in you stay with our kids. Make it a goal to tell one student, volunteer or coworker each week how much you belive in them and watch as their potential is completely unlocked and set free.