Friday, August 29, 2008

Embrace 09 Meeting

Next summer the College Students and High School students will be "Embracing" NYC and the Jr High Students will be "Embracing" Chicago.  We will be having an information meeting on Sunday September 7th at 12:15.  Please attend this meeting if you are even a little bit interested in attending Embrace 09.  We will be discussing dates, cost, logistics  and other details.  This meeting is for students and their parents and lunch will be served.  Hope to see you there.

Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

Last week I spent 30 hours on the train going to New York and was able to finish Wide Awake and read most of my 15th book of the year, Ragamuffin Gospel.  I have always heard a lot about this book, but for some reason I have always felt intimidated by it.  I feel like it has helped me understand God's grace a little more.  I hope those I have an opportunity to teach and influence will here me speak about his grace more than I speak about anything else.  I also desire to live out his grace in my life with those I come in contact with.  If you have never read Ragamuffin Gospel before, you need to read it NOW!

Wide Awake by Erwin McManus

My goal this year was to read 20 books...I just finished number 14!  This last book, Wide Awake, by Erwin McManus has really encouraged me to live life to the fullest.  He says that most of us are walking around sleep walking and not living wide awake.  We spend most of our days just doing what we have to do...going to school, work, etc and not doing what God has called us to do or given us the desires to do.  If you feel like you are just surviving and not really living check out Wide Awake.

Will It Bounce

This is a game Big D did for the Gathering last the question is "Will it Bounce?"

Mud Volleyball

This was our second Mud Volleyball event. It was unbelievable!

Embrace Nashville Recap

Here is a quick look at our mission trip to Nashville. We spent a week "Embracing" the city and the people of Nashville. Our desire was to see others more like Jesus sees them and to treat them with love and grace. It was a great mission trip and I look forward to "Embrace" 09!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Join Us Tonight at The Gathering

Join us tonight at 7 pm for our last week in the series "FEAR"...what is holding you back? We are going to look at the fear of letting go tonight. Come as you are and enjoy an environment of encouragement and belonging. Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Are you a giver or a taker?

We are attempting to help Kenedee to become a can read about our latest experience here.    The longer I am on my journey with God the more I realize he is asking me to give: my life, my job, my family, my time, energy, resources, etc.  I know in return, He gives life!  We are trying to help our 2.5 year daughter learn this now.  We have taken her downtown with the students to pass out fruit to those who were hungry. 
It is difficult at times to give, it is much easier to take.  Are you a giver or a taker?  In what area in your life is God asking you to give?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I left my hotel at 9:45 this morning and just made it back at 11:00 pm....long day!!!!   A lot of the day was spent walking (about 10 miles) and riding the subway.  However, from 12 - 4 I spent time with Tracee from CSM doing my presite visit.  I got a tour of where we will be staying in Brooklyn...the neighborhood is Chinese, Russian, Polish, Arabic and Albanian.  The housing site is pretty nice, two large sleeping rooms and bathrooms with 2 shower heads!!!!  We then went to a middle eastern restaurant and I had a lamb gyro.  Finally we spent some time at one of the locations we could possibly serve.  It mainly works with the elderly population in the neighborhood of Chelsea in Manhattan.  They deliver meals to about 250 people in the area that are home bound as well as serving lunch everyday.  There is also a site that has an ice cream shop that employs teenagers who are recovering addicts.  I really can't wait to take our students to NYC.  After spending the day in New York, looking at it with the idea of serving in the city, I realized how NY is like another country.  There are so many different ethnicity's and languages that are spoken.  I really believe our students will be made more uncomfortable on this trip than ever before and I believe God will really use them and change them through the trip.

After my presite was over, I spent the day as a tourist.  I went to the where the World Trade Centers used to stand and spent some time at the St. Paul Church, which is only about a block away.  This is the oldest building in New York that is still used daily.  It became a hub for those firemen who were spending time trying to find survivors and those who were killed when the towers were hit.  They have some memorials set up for those who were killed and those who spent time serving.  It was really moving to read some of the stories.  I saw one sign that said how the rescuers came there to rest and it hit me, that is one of the reasons the church should exist; to allow people to come in as they are and to find rest in the grace of God.

I spent the rest of the day walking on the Brooklyn bridge, shopping in China Town, getting pizza in Little Italy, taking the subway to the Bronx and looking the New Yankee stadium, walking around time square and down 5th ave, eating a hot dog from a street vendor and finally gettin a chai tea from St. Arbucks and drinking it in Central Park.  I'm exhausted!  I fly out at 6 taxi is picking me up at 4:30 am, that's in 5 hours!  I have to say I had a great time experiencing NYC, but I look forward to next summer and serving in the city for an entire week.  Good Night and see you tomorrow at the Gathering.

And I'm Off!

I am off to catch the G train to south Brooklyn for my pre site visit with CSM.  I will be done about 4 pm and will have the rest of the evening to do what I want.  I'm planning on going to China Town, Little Italy, Central Park,up to Yankee Stadium and what ever else I can cram in there.  If you only had 6 hours in NYC....what would you do?  

Monday, August 18, 2008's been a long 30 hours

I am posting this from my hotel in New York...I am in NYC for my pre site visit for next years Embrace Mission Trip.   I finally made it here after being on the train for 28 hours.  It wasn't to bad being on the train that long...this is what I looked at almost the entire train ride.  I really hope it works out for us to take the train next summer as a youth group.
   I have to say that New York is the craziest city I have ever been to.  I spent almost two weeks here in 2000, but I think I forgot how it was here.  Immediately getting on the subway I was reminded just how diverse this city is.  I got a little lost and ended up having to walk 15 blocks to catch my train to get to the shuttle...but it all worked out.  I am excited to visit some of the organizations we will be serving with tomorrow as well as seeing more of the city.  I will post again tomorrow night!

Mud Burns When It Gets in Your Eyes!

Our 2008 Mud Volleyball day was a blast. Not much volleyball...but a whole lot of mud! I have the greatest job in the world. One of my favorite parts of my job is just getting to have fun with teenagers. I will never forget these moments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mud Volleyball

Come join us this Saturday August 16th from 1 - 3 pm at the field behind Trinity church for our Second Annual Mud Volleyball Games. Make sure and bring a friend and some clothes you don't mind getting a "little" muddy!

New Series at The GATHERING : Fear...What is Holding You Back?

Most of us are afraid of something: heights, spiders, blood, shots, snakes, etc. However, if you really look inside, what are you really afraid of? Join us at theGathering the next three weeks as we look at Fear: What is Holding You Back? Also, feel free to comment on here what you are really afraid, you can do this totally anonymously.

Back from Arkansas

We got back from a great week long vacation to the great state of Arkansas....and unlike most vacations I have been on, I wasn't tired!  It was really just a great time of being with each other as a family and relaxing.  I hope some time this summer you were able to slow down and spend time with family.  This was one of my favorite vacations I have ever been on.  What has been your favorite vacation ever?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Gone on Vacation

I will be leaving today for the great state of Arkansas.  I am looking forward to getting away with Heather and Kenedee and not doing much.  Please pray for me as I will be listening to veggie tales for about 9 hours this weekend on the drive down.  Hope you all have a great week!