Craziness & Updates

Hey blogosphere,

Sorry I have not blogged since March! Quickie updates: finished the first course in my Certificate if Youth Ministry through Vanguard College, finished off the school year ministry, coached an entire season of Jr High rugby, and am now in the final stages of preparing for Inglewood CRC’s summer mission trips.

 

Super excited to be apart of the mission trips, I am taking a group of Gr 10 boys to work in Queens, New York. It is going to be a crazy awesome adventure and Nicole and I bought a brand new camera so I can capture it all. We will be on serve the first week of July, you can check back here for my own personal updates and hit over to http://www.inglewoodcrc.org for student updates and photo galleries. If you are all tech savvy and on the twitter, we will be hashtagging #ICRCserves. Hope that provides adequate resources to follow the adventure.

 

Looking forward to blogging more!

This Mentorship Thing…

So this past weekend at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I had a real awakening to this whole idea of mentoring. Working in youth ministry I lead a small group of grade 7 students. I spend my Tuesdays hanging out with them and journeying with them as they discover their faith and challenge my own. This really is my favorite part. I love it.

I have learned how the mentorship process works mentors do not try to form and guide a student, they impart wisdom that they have discovered from their lives. Mentors are not placed in students lives to fix their problems as if they are broken, mentors are supposed to just hang out with students, spend quality time with them so there is a safe place where questions can be asked and answers can be found. There needs to be a state of mutual fascination, where both parties respect and love each other for who they are. The last part of being a mentor is to be in a state of mutual transformation. There is not supposed to be teaching, there is supposed to be a journey together where both mentor and student’s lives are changing because of the positive effects on each other.

This has been pretty heavy on my heart the past few days. I spend a lot of time pouring my experience and excitement for Jesus into a few students, they probably would not call me their mentor, but essentially that is what I am doing. Back to the point, pour out myself into the students but I do not have anyone pouring themselves into me. I realized that I need a mentor as well, I need an older, wiser and more experienced person in my life to give me advice, to answer my questions and keep me accountable.

The worst thing is, I had this person in my life. My small group leader when I was in high school turned into a mentor when I graduated. He became one of the closest friends I ever had, I took every issue and every question to him and trusted him beyond belief. I say had him because he and his wife moved back home to Ontario in November of 2010 and it has taken me this long to realize how much I missed his guidance.

So I guess I in the market for a new mentor…sounds odd but it is true. I need that certain someone to pour some experience and wisdom into me. I just to need put this into the hands of Jesus and pray that he will put someone in my path that can walk beside me as I try to walk in this crazy world and learn to love Jesus.

Breathe…Day 2&3

What a conference! This weekend is pretty much over for us and it has been an amazing ride. I have the amazing pleasure of meeting, speaking, and tweeting with some of the most influential names in youth ministry today. This has been so much fun, Nicole and I are so thankful that we have had this opportunity to come here and just hang out with other youth workers and take some time to breathe.

Yesterday we skipped our main general assembly and took some time to see the sights of Louisville. There were many more sights than I had expected. We obviously went to the Slugger Museum, that was pretty cool, not a huge baseball fan but still pretty awesome. There was some real neat buildings downtown with some amazing character. We saw the statue of Thomas Jefferson; it was really cool to see some history in a place where I never expected to see any. Coincidentally Jimmy Buffett was in town last night so there were a lot of crazy old people dressed as parrots and sharks. It was kind of crazy.

Sidebar: This place is so awesome, Nicole and I sitting on some awesome sack chairs blogging and studying and some fellow youth workers just pulled up beside us with a bongo and a guitar and started worshiping. Sounds awesome!

The sessions that I attended yesterday was Sticky Faith with Kara Powell and Brad Griffin, and a session called You Suck! Responding and Dealing with Criticism. Sticky Faith was interesting because it is the biggest idea to come out of Fuller Youth Institute. It was interesting talk about building a faith in students that sticks through college and beyond. The You Suck! session was awesome. It was great to sit with others who suck at dealing with criticism and learn proper techniques and strategies to sift through and respond to criticism.

Nicole and I got distracted last night and spent 2 hours hanging out with some awesome youth workers so now I am sitting in the Louisville airport finishing this post off. We totally just met the Skit Guys! This weekend has been absolutely insane, so much craziness, awesomeness, and relaxing. It was nice to get away and just have some people pour some experience and knowledge into us for a change.

Breathe … Day 1

After a crazy day of travelling, me made it to Louisville, which by the way is pronounced Lulllllllllville. It’s crazy, I know, I can’t say it without laughing. But we are here at Simply Youth MInistry Conference. Nicole and I had the amazing opportunity to attend an all day pre-conference workshop entitled, Married People Retreat with Ted and Nancie Lowe. Ted is the Married Life Pastor at North Point Community Church in Georgia.

We spent the day working through a curriculum called the 4 Core Habits. The first habit was called Practice your Promise. During this time we focused on looking back at the vows we made on our wedding day and living those out every day of our married life. We need to control our thoughts because thoughts turn into our sins, we meditated on Philippians 4: 8-9.

The next habit we spent time with was, The Tone of Your Home. We took some time to look at the home we have, how it is run and what it feels like. We spent time discussing this with other couples at our table. The scripture we focused on Luke10:38-42. The bottom line of this topic was, the tone of your home greatly impacts the tone of your marriage.

We took a break for lunch and spent some time getting to know an amazing couple from Sacramento, CA. We had a great time getting to know them and hanging out.

After lunch we dived into the 3rd habit: Respect and Love. We talked about conflict and peace. How our pain affects our spouses pain and cycles and after knowing our pain cycles we have the ability to stop those cycles and grow with each other in our marriage. After conflict, we talked about peace and how to bring peace into a marriage. It was a great eye opener and really showed us what we were doing to each other in conflict. During this 3 topic, we were interrupted by a tornado warning. We all had to evacuate the sessions we were in and gather on the main floor of the hotel. It was pretty exciting, pretty soon after we able to return to our sessions and continue.

The last topic we talked about was Love God First. We talked about stereotypes in marriage and how God feels about that. We had a great time   working on our marriage and learning how to love each other and love God. It was a great time and we are both so thankful that we could attend the workshop.

We went out for dinner and headed off the main opening assembly, excited to hear what Francis Chan had to say. We had a great time worshiping and hanging out. Looking forward to the rest of the conference!

 

Breathe

The past week has been absolutely nuts! I do not think I have ever been as stressed. I had an event to organize on the weekend, an assignment to research and write, and a conference to prepare for. Along with my regular duties of part time homemaker, husband, sibling and friend. I have been overloaded. Typically I excel when I get overloaded, but not this time.

Ironically, the conference Nicole and I are attending this weekend is entitled Breathe. Fitting. I am really excited for the weekend, I will learn lots, but I pray that I will come back refreshed and rested.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I have been registered to attend Breathe for a few months now and I never really grasped the truth behind the title. I guess Jesus just spend the last week showing me. I need to spend more time in devotions and more time just hanging out with God. Hopefully this weekend helps out.

Thanks for listening blogosphere,

P.S. stay tuned for some updates from Simply Youth Ministry Convention this weekend!

Breakforth: Final Day

Hello followers and blogosphere adventurers!

Today wrapped up Breakforth Canada 2012. It was an amazing day! I had the honour and great privelege to listen to Nick Vuijcic speak. He is an amazing testimony of faith, if you want more information check out http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org. I will let him do the explaining and I will just talk about what hit me in the heart today! I attended Nick’s talk on Maximizing your Potential. This was a topic I needed to hear. Being called in the Lord’s ministry is not an easy thing to handle, our future is so uncertain. Nick said that when following what God wants you to do you want to know a few things: what you are going to do, why you are going to do it, how you are going to do it, and when you are going to do it. I definitely know the first 2, what and why. I am called to spend time with young people and journey with them to the foot of the throne, I know I will do this because the Lord has spoken to me and given me the gifts and passion for this ministry. I am pretty sure how I will get there, currently I am studying at Vanguard College and have plans to attend other Christian Post-Secondary institutions. What I struggle with is WHEN. Both Nicole and I have no idea when Jesus will call us to a church, where he will call us, how he will call us etc… I love the idea of this making my life an adventure, it will always be exciting, however, I am scared because I simply do not know. I like to have everything planned, that is how I am. I struggle with leaving it up to God. Nick helped me to understand that God knows best. I think my soul is a bit more peaceful, I needed the reminder to just let God take care of things, after all, He is pretty smart and I have faith that He has a plan for us!

Part of maximizing your potential is prioritizing our lives, if our priorities are straight then we will be serving God to the max. First and foremost is my own personal relationship with Jesus, this needs to be most important. Second, my relationship with my wife, Nicole. By loving her just as God so loved the church, I will glorify the King. Third and last is everything else, ministry, career, work, friends. All things will be taken care of by the Lord if we worship Him with our relationships.

Nick also closed off the conference by speaking on Ephesians 6:10, the Armor of God. He said that we do not need to go to church, conferences, or small groups to receive the armor; we already have it. We need to be attending church, conferences, and small groups so we can take off our beaten and dented armor and have it all patched up and ready to head back out into the world proudly proclaiming the Gospel and bringing souls into heaven!

Nick left us a few good quotes, here they are, “if you don’t know what God wants you do, ask God to use you to help someone else who knows what God has called them to do.” God will use the community around us to point us in the right direction. The second item is a prayer,

Dear God,

Today, Jan 29 2012, I pray that you would help me to find joy in You more.

Please God, help me to be faithful. When I am not, thank you for carrying me. Here I am, use me.

Sincerely, Me!

I will let the words of the prayer explain themselves.

God bless!

Breakforth, Day1

Hello Blogoshpere!

So today Nicole and I went to Breakforth Canada 2012! We had a great day of worship and learning.

We picked up a friend and go the Shaw Conference Center around 8:30 in the morning. We headed  do the main assembly for some worship with Benton Brown and a good sermon from Anne Graham Lotz. Anne spoke about the end of days and the second coming of Jesus. Based on Matthew 24:3 she identifies 5 signs of the second coming.

1. Religious: there will be more and more persecutions of christians, divisions of the church, and false prophets.

2. Wars: there are currently 134 wars happening in the world today and 10 major wars. We also had 2 world wars in the last century.

3. Environment: There has been an increasing number of natural disasters all over the world. 295 000 people died from natural disasters in 2010.

4. Personal: Anne Graham Lotz believes that her generation will be the last generation. She defends this standpoint with Mt 24:3, Luke 21, and 2 Peter 3. We should not be deceived and we should not be discouraged by scoffers in the church.

5. Global: Rebirth of Israel (May 1948). Mt 24:14, that the Gospel will be preached out in all nations, and due to the internet, this has become a reality..

This was a great sermon, I was a bit confused afterwards though. Part of me was excited that the second coming is a possibility in my lifetime, but it also made me feel rushed. Feeling called by God to youth ministry is an awesome adventure that I do not want to miss, but if that is the Lord’s will then so it is. I think it is a gutsy topic to preach on, the unsettling part of the talk was how confident Anne was in her theory, she spoke with such authority and conviction that she could convinced anyone! More info on this topic at http://www.annegrahamlotz.com.

After the main session we went our separate ways, I attended a talk about sharing the leadership load. Something that I struggle with and needed to hear. We went for lunch and then spent the afternoon with Sean McDowell learning how to connect with youth, and equip them with a biblical worldview. Nicole and I learned loads from these talks. Sean is a great speaker and so passionate about ministry and youth. More information at http://www.seanmcdowell.org.

We had dinner with some friends and discussed the events of the day, bounced some ideas around and unwound from the craziness and overwhelming day. We headed back to  the main hall and listened to Tony Campolo talk about being a red-letter Christian. We need to spend more time listening to what Jesus says in the Gospel. It was a great talk and inspired me to dedicate more of my life to Jesus, not just some, but all of it! Paul Baloche led the worship, he is so great at leading worship!

Overall, we had a great day and look forward to learning more about myself and God’s calling tomorrow. Praise the Lord that we can attend conferences like this in our own city of Edmonton and have the freedom to do so!