Time

Time has been on my thougths recently. How often we try to fit in ridiculous amounts into a 24 hour period. I have been struck by two things. Firstly this quote by Roy Lessin:
There is always time enough in a day to do God’s will.

And secondly Psalm 23 – The Antithesis

The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest
It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it done,
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines;
My in-box overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.
Instead let us truly live out Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

A whirl around the world wide web …

I love this time of year for the thoughts that appear on blogs and that are expressed verbally as so much training happens and youth workers take time to step back for 30 seconds and reflect on their ministry.

So I thought I would give a quick map of some great thoughts and/or discussions that are going on around the youth ministry blog world:

Johnny has posted about some thoughts from the Youth Specialties convention in Anaheim on how we captivate young people, how we always moan that they don’t want to pay attention to the Bible lesson but as soon as you give them a games console or a sports ball they are fine for hours on end.

Kurt has got a great post thinking about how do we do ‘mission trips’. It is a really interesting is mission work becoming too business like – are we actually doing much benefit – “Could we not come up with other ways to expose students to the needs of the world while actually solving some of them at the same time?” Certainly a great question – and as I begin to think how do we encourage our students to be involved in missional work both locally, nationally, and internationally something to chew over.

Josh has a helpful post on how we link with the parents in our ministry. It is always something we can improve on – we often focus on the young people and then the volunteer leaders that the parents get our left overs – but without them we would have no young people to work with – they give up their time and money to get their child to and from the events and pay from them etc. we should ensure we support and minister to them as best as we can. Something we managed to do in our summer holiday club at the church, was one of the older ladies in the congregation stood by the front door and greeted all the parents as they came to pick up their children. As an ex local teacher she had taught many of the parents and formed some great conversations. Not sure how to reproduce that at all the weekly events.

And for something different youthblog has another view on the youth workers office!

I would love to hear if anyone has got any thoughts of the stuff I’ve mentioned.

Yes, yes, yes!!!!!

We got a good chunk of money last night:
Monday Night Chillout – £2,000
Rock ‘Ard – £1,000
Rock Solid – £1,334
So out of the £8,160 we applied for we received £4334 all just for a few hours of work.
Fantastic – now we get to spend it!

Funding awards evening

Tonight is the night – tonight is the local presentation evening for the Childrens Fund and the Challenge 2000 Project funding. We have been told that we have got some money but they don’t tell us till tonight how much we get. We have applied for £8,500 – let’s hope we get a good chunk of it as the young people came up with some great ideas on how to use it.

I will try and post later tonight or tomorrow with an update.

Pirate Week

Ahoy! Today, me hearty, I be Mad Cap’n Kidd, yer pirate.
Many of the local schools seem to be having a themed week or days based upon pirates – it all seems to be linked to book fairs. So today when I am in school I am dressed like a pirate! How great is youth work.

Gutting

I took a big beating last night at the youth clubs trip out to Rayleigh Megazone. The last time I took a group of young people I came 3rd and 1st in the two games. This time I came 15th and 17th (out of 17) – how embarrassing!

Long time – no blogging!

Wow – how rubbish have I been at blogging.

Lots to catch up on. I have had a section of time off today. Because I am having to work every Saturday (my normal day off) throughout November I am taking Monday’s off. Today I had a great lie in, following a late night last night. I got up and have spent most of the day trying to clean the house and get all those little jobs done that never get done. There is still a lot left to do – all the floors need a good clean and the filing needs doing but I managed to get a lot tidied up.

Yesterday was a great day. In the morning we had a confirmation service for two of our young people (big up to Laura and Anthony!). I always love those type of services. My church is slightly strange in that because it is a Union Church it practices both infant baptism and confirmation but also adult baptism by full immersion. While it can be quite funny as to how people understand those practices it doesn’t seem to cause any issues. Hannah and I had a great lunch at Anthony’s afterwards – big thanks to Ray and Julie.

In the evening we had Doubt your Doubts, the monthly town-wide youth service, organised by Junction 28, the inter-church, inter-denominational town-wide group of youth workers. This month and last month I have been preaching on the importance of not letting our excuses get in the way of God’s work in our lives. Last month we looked at what happens when our excuse gets in the way, and then specifically the excuse of being too young to do anything. This month we looked at the parable of talents and how we shouldn’t use the excuses of being afraid or saying we can’t do anything.

Junction 28 also had our team meeting at the weekend – we spent most of the time looking at stuff for the YFriday gig on Saturday November 25th. If you want to come, but haven’t got tickets, get on and download a booking form, fill it in, and send it back to us with some money.

At the end of the last week David, the minister of the church where I work, and my father-in-law sent me an email to tell me he had started blogging. Go check it out .

Anyhow better go – tonight we are taking two of our youth groups to Rayleigh Megazone for a night of laser quest – always a good night!

Great posts at Youthblog

Ian has been posting some great stuff like this great post with the following quote:

In 100 years time nobody will care how much you earned, but the world may be a different place because you were important in the life of a child!

Pedalling My Thoughts, Ian’s other’s little project seems to have died. Where has the great cycle blog gone?

Random bits going on in life

Having got back from New York most of the weekend was spent preparing for a preach I was doing in church on Sunday morning. I had been given the opportunity to share something from my heart about why and what we do in children’s and youth work. I am really grateful (particulaly afterwards!) when I get given an opportunity to share and hopefully inspire the wider congregation about what we do week in, week out. I also find it really helpful as it sets my heart and mind back on the central reasons as to why we do what we do.

Since then I have spent most of the time trying to catch up with work. Key things include:

  • The YFriday concert happening in a few weeks time
  • Activities and material for youth groups this week
  • My RE lessons for tomorrow afternoon
  • Dealing with some admin and background issues
  • Preparing for a preach at Doubt your Doubts, a town-wide monthly youth service
  • Dsicovering that a mouse seems to be living in my office!

Hopefully as life settles down again into a more normal pattern I can get back into the blogging.

New York – Days 5 and 6

Our last day in New York we spent most of the day shopping – it was good fun although we found that most of it was at designer prices which we didn’t want to payso we didn’t end up buying too much. However, I did manage to get a pair of smart trousers worth £50 for $19 – about £15 including taxes!

In the evening we went to an ice hockey match at Madison Square Gardens. Here is a cool photo:

Unfortunately the home team – New York Rangers lost 4-2 to the Florida Panthers. But at least it made Sam feel at home given he supports, the football team, Crystal Palace and they aren’t particularly doing well – 17th in the Championship at the moment! It was amazing to see how much other stuff they put in to their sports games. The game contains three periods of 20 minutes. The first period took over 50 minutes to play with all the player rotation, fouls, and adverts. It is so different to how sport is played in the UK. A really good night though.

On our last day Sam had to go back to work so Sarah, Hannah and I went in search of one of the Christian bookshop. We found quite an impressive shop where I bought a book and Hannah managed to get some groovy little presents for a couple of our young people!

We then travelled out to Newark airport to take our flight to Chicago only to be told that due to bad weather we would not be able to fly and would have to put ourselves up in a hotel for the night and fly the next day. After a bit of discussion they managed to find us another flight but it left JFK airport in less than four hours. We had the craziest taxi journey across the city driving at 60mph with the driver not wearing his seat belt, mobile phone in one hand, and eating with the other, using his elbows to steer us in and out of these huge big lorries. In the end we made it to the airport, sat in another huge queue, but did make it on the flight. In many ways it was better than our original flights as it was direct to Heathrow with no changes and we had a nicer plane to travel in. We also arrived in the UK just before 6:30am instead of the 10:00am we should have originally arrived at.

New York – the Hippos

Sam and Sarah have some very funky hippos – Hippo and Bill who are a big part of Hannah and my holiday here so I thought I would post a picture of them: