Friday, June 29, 2007

becoming men of courage and strength

I had the great opportunity to be a small group leader at a camp this past week with Cornerstone Ministries from Export, PA. This picture is of our small group. Probably the best thing that happened in our group is that we experienced the Bible coming to life in a new way - by reading it with movie soundtrack music in the background. The 1st and 2nd chapters of Nahum sound amazing with the music of Gladiator (1st track and forward) playing. We read Genesis 22, the story of Abraham obeying God's command to sacrifice Isaac, to the next to the last track on the Braveheart score. It was good stuff! The theme of the week was about students developing spiritual habits and I was trying to help the Bible come alive for these guys. We also talked about the need to have masculine expression and understanding of our faith. So often, when we talk about our relationship with God, it's usually in words that girls understand and so guys feel at a loss. We talked about Jesus, the strong and courageous man of God using the book of Mark to help us see Jesus in a fresh light.

I had so much fun with these guys. They are hilarious. They come up with the funniest things. At the end of the week they gave me this picture framed with stuff they had written to me on the matting. That was awesome! (with a little helpful from my beautiful wife). Anyway, I'm thanking God for a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2007

a sad and yet great week of youth ministry!

This past week started with a sad note - Judy and I attended the going away party of our dear friend Nick Poole who was the youth pastor at Calvary Assembly in Irwin. Pete Malik and I knew Nick when he was a Bible club leader in his high school. It was awesome when Nick came back here to do youth ministry after graduating from college and he has been a HUGE help to our youth networks since he has been back here. Nick's event coordinating skills and graphic design skills (and numchuck skills) have been a blessing! Thanks Nick for all you did for us here. We're going to miss you.

Then from Sunday night through Thursday night I had the privilege of working with my good friend, Lu, youth pastor at Murrysville Alliance at the C&MA senior high camp at Mahaffey, PA. I spoke on John Eldredge's book, "Epic" - talking about the story that God is telling and how we can find our part in God's story. That was so much fun and it was a great blessing to be out in the woods away from the computer, from meetings, from busyness and the normal hectic things of life. Judy came up for a couple days too and she got recruited into helping lead worship with the kids (btw, she did an incredible job at leading the youth worship band in leading the worship at Cornerstone this past Sunday - June 10th).

Today (Friday) was our end of the school year celebration event, Summer Slam, organized by another great friend, Dave Grimm, at Harvest Assembly church in Derry. We had over 200 students from at least 10 different churcehs that came out for the waterslide, extreme games, concerts with Breaking The Silence and Everlife, a great dinner, the ice cream sundae bar, and much more. It was a lot of fun. You can see more pictures of Summer Slam at
I also got to have breakfast this morning with a new youth pastor in Greensburg, Frank Nemeth (Word of Life). Frank is a great guy. Man, I love this job! Thank you God for the privilege of serving You in this way.