Archive for April, 2009

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Ok, signed up for Twitter months ago … now I am going to try and use it.

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Cleveland Hospital

I’ve spent the last two days at the hospital in a waiting room. They’ve come a long way, but I still hate them. Cleveland Hospital is cool in many ways though … they have a Subway and McDonalds (along with a bunch of other food places in it). It’s kinda of a hospital and art gallary all wrapped up in one.

Modern day medicine is truly a miracle that I am grateful for. Wendy came through surgery with flying colors. The pain medicine is making her sick to her stomach though, so please pray for her. A long road to recovery is ahead for her, but she’s stubborn enough to do just fine. I’ve got a thousand and seventeen things I need to be doing, but I’m sooo very glad that I am here. It’s been great hanging out with friends the last few days.

Accidents, Cadre and Open Heart Surgery

Jeanne totalled her car on Saturday and tried to break by putting her head through the windshield. It didn’t work. I’ve never seen two more swollen black eyes in my life…no exaggeration. To let you know what a warrior I work with, she still did the 2 day Cadre on Monday and Tuesday (11 hours on Monday and 14 hours on Tuesday). Cadre plane tickets had long ago been purchased, so the thought of canceling on 35 youth pastors didn’t seem like an option. So, I watched my boss and friend nail it despite the intense pain. She was 110% fully there and fully on. Impressive.

I jumped on a plane after I made sure the majority of the Cadre guys and girls had made their way back home. A friend of mine is having a five hour open heart surgery where they will stop her heart for two hours to replace two valves. I think I already blogged about it, but there are 5 families I am committed to do life with from Indiana, along with my family, for eternity. Wendy’s is one of them.

Hurricane Clean Up

Getting everything back on track after NYLC is a little (stress little) bit like cleaning up after a Hurricane. For the month prior, everything got put on the back burner. Now that we are home, everything is red hot front burner stuff. We have 4 conference call, 3 Cadres, a Spring retreat and 2nd year iterviews over the next six weeks, including all the clean up from NYLC. Exciting days are ahead. We have over 200 new Source and YLC subscribers, along with over 200 people interested in the Cadre.

On a side note, we had Reunite tonight to celebrate the MC students coming back from Spring Break. Glad to have them back in the house. It’s way too quiet here without them.

On a final note, I hate power surges/outages. As a result of Friday’s storms, we blew the ethernet chip in our motherboard and have no access to the Youth Leader’s Coach storage area. UGH! I don’t know who the Kernal is, but without the Ethernet chip he won’t load. So much for surge protectors. Plus, battery back-ups are of little use when you don’t plug the stupid thing into it. The cost of silly mistakes drive me insane.

NYLC 09 – Fully Between Someone Else And Jesus

The conference was a smashing success. How do I know? Because countless have told me. And after spending part of my vacation watching it, I know why they are saying what they are saying. It’s funny, but there is so much work to do in the moment…to make what is happening around the people seem effortless, that I didn’t catch most of the conference. It can be disheartening if you let it…that is until you ask yourself the question of “why do you do what you do anyway?” There is a time for it to be “fully between you and Jesus,” but then there are times you make the sacrifice for it to be “fully between someone else and Jesus.” That’s what NYLC 09 was for me. However, it wasn’t without countless personal highlights, like…

1. Watching youth pastors get real honest on some tough issues using 2,000 key pads that registers audience responses.
2. Watching Jeanne be able to do what she does best without much concern for the details that our team had well covered.
3. Doing my two breakout sessions despite the fact that I lost 80% of my voice day one.
4. Praying with people on Wednesday night at the conclusion of the evening service.
5. Watching the MC Atlanta team in action. Wow, they were off-the-hook impressive.
6. Seeing what a difference the Cadre makes when it comes to a conference. The day after the conference was truly like a family reunion with all of them. However, typically you’re ready for family reunions to come to an end, but I wasn’t ready for this one to.
7. Seeing some typically quiet MC Atlanta students rise up and own some things that were ginormous … they nailed it.
8. Each night I would steal a few seconds away and go to the top balcony area where there were these cool side sections. From there you could see countless worshipping…most with hands help high, while others were praying. It was a site to behold and the mental Kodak moment of the conference for me.
9. Hanging out with my sister, Carole, Chris and Karen. I miss them. They were and still are my armor bearers. Hopefully, I am for them as well.
10. Knowing the impact the conference had on the “youth ministry teams” present. There are times when it’s just plain good for your team to hear someone else say the exact same things you’ve been saying. Plus, it’s good to steal away three days for teams to be together when nothing else is pulling at you (or them) and all the work is being done by someone else. I remember the impact a trip my team took at Granger to a Saddleback youth conference. I loved being able to provide for others what they provided for me. Also, the diversity of the speakers (Ed Young, Judah Smith, Chris Hill, Greg Stier, Craig Gross, etc.) ensured the different personalities on the team would connect with at least a few of the speakers, if not all.

After the conference, and months of sleepless or little sleep nights, we went on a five day cruise. Sounds glamorous, I know. However, I literally slept 17 hours or more each day for 4 of the 5 days. Sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I so am not. Crazy…I know. I think I was on the verge of exhaustion and didn’t know it. I could tell it in my emotions, but no place else. That’s a whole lot of sleep for someone that typically sleeps 4-6 hours tops a night. It was good for my soul and great preparation for this weekend when I’ve set aside time for it to be “fully between me and Jesus.”