Friday, October 27, 2006

Waiting for War

It's kind of scary, knowing you are going off to war soon. At first, you don't think about yourself, you think about your loved ones. Will they be OK while I'm gone? Will they be scared for me?

Then you begin thinking about yourself...about the possibilities. Will I be alright? What happens if I get shot? Will it hurt? What if I get injured? What if I do something stupid and get taken out?

I'm talking about paintball, of course. What? You didn't think I was really going off to war, did you? (Hahahaha)

Yes, tomorrow is the day. It should be lots of fun and I wish more boys were going because it's a great time to get to know each other.

I always wonder what REAL soldiers think before they go off to war. When I paintball, I shoot people and it's fun. When I get shot, it usually doesn't hurt too bad, but imagine avoiding bullets like our soldiers do!
Once, when paintballing, my comrade was taken out right beside me and I immediately dropped to the ground in thick grass. I inched forward and listened intently for the sniper and thought I saw a glimpse of him/her in a bush. Just as I was about to pull the trigger, a paintball caught me square in the middle of the forehead! I remember walking off the field that day with a greater respect for soldiers.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Hard Thing

One of the hardest things in youth ministry is to NOT gauge your performance based on numbers. It is very difficult, though, when only a few attend the activities that you plan. Here are some things that might go through your mind...

- Am I boring? Do I plan boring stuff?
- Are the things I'm planning helping our teens to grow spiritually? Are they too deep? Is that why the don't show up? Are they too shallow?
- I feel guilty for taking the church's money for doing an activity with ONE teenager.
- Is it worth doing an activity if only one or two show up?
- How come coaches and parents can require teens to attend (insert extracurricular activity) practice, but not spiritual activities?
- Maybe I'm just a bad youth minister...

What is the secret? How do some churches consistently get a large percentage of kids to go? Is it having a dynamic personality in the youth ministry position? Is it adding more staff or volunteers? Is it providing things for the parents so that they will drag their kids along? Is it pouring more $$$ into it and making it bigger and louder?

Obviously, I don't know the answer yet!! But I DO know feels great when the kids you ministered to call you from college on a regular basis! It is awesome when one of "your teens" calls you for a Bible question. It is all worth it when they tell you that they remember your classes or devotionals! It is rewarding when they call just to say that they appreciate you!
When those things happen, small numbers in attendance don't really seem to matter.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fischer's GQ Pic

Here's a new one...Fischer's GQ picture! My GQ picture is the one I use in my profile. It's black and white and I have a serious pose. In this one, Fischer has that "serious" look!!

In case you don't know what "GQ" is a men's magazine that takes pictures of usually actors who are dressed to the hilt and have a serious look on their faces. I'm sure there is more to the magazine, but I don't read it!

Enjoy the pic!

Friday, October 06, 2006

And Then She Cried

Our precious little boy was toddling around the room earlier this evening...not a care in the world. We both turned away for just one moment and heard a stomach-turning, muted "THUD."
As we jerked our heads around to see what had happened, we witnessed him lying on his back. Tears trickled down his face as I pulled him up. I held him against my shoulder for a moment to soothe him. As he pulled away, I noticed some blood coming from his mouth and said, "Uh oh."
My wife, panicked, cried, "WHAT?!" It was at that moment that she saw the red drops around his mouth and noticed that he had bitten his tongue.

And then she cried.

After the crying subsided and we were sure that no stitches were needed, we loaded up the car and drove to a nearby park. It was a trail we had never walked before. Let me just say, Omaha in the autumn is absolutely gorgeous! The flowers and trees were bursting with color. As we walked, you could almost hear them calling out cheerful greetings. Other walkers and joggers smiled and waved as they passed. The cool air blew gently by as we breezed down the trail. After our walk, we stopped at the playground, where Fischer loves the slides! He also got to walk (or TRY to walk!) on the sand. Nearing dark, we headed for the car. In the semi-darkness, my wife glanced back to see me holding his hand, walking together in the light of the harvest moon.

And then she cried.

Home again after viewing God's beauty. My wife took Fischer to give him a bath. I listened to the splashing in the other room as I sat down to write this blog. I heard her talking to him, singing to him and laughing. And then I heard the most wonderful sound in the world...his laughter.

And then I cried.

What "gets you" and brings you to tears?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

They're Baaaaaaaaaack!!

Well, Tracy and Fischer are back! I'm so excited...I haven't seen them since Friday! It wasn't so bad until I ran out of things to do about 9:00 PM on Saturday night. I had watched some ball games, weedeated the back yard, and even did laundry and picked up the upstairs part of our house!

Then, I noticed it was very quiet.

Quiet is not good because around here it denotes being alone.

So, I got ready for Sunday class, and buried myself in a book until 12:30 (WAY too late to stay up, but I can't sleep well when they're not here!) Sunday came...busy as usual until the afternoon.

Why can't I enjoy being alone?

Maybe it's because God made me to enjoy relationships! He made me to enjoy having a wife and child around!
Anybody else have trouble when they are alone?
Next time they're out of town, I'm gonna call people to hang out with (but they will have to come and get me because Tracy took our only car!)