change you can believe in...

The slogan for the President, when running for office, was change you can believe in. It was a catchy slogan that caused many to believe in the President for his ideals during his campaign. This week the some students in my youth group went to River of Life. An annual mission trip in Augusta, GA. We work on houses, schools, or anywhere that needs to be worked on. My students worked hard and were the visual image of an invisible God.
I got to speak with and meet some other awesome people in youth ministry this week. It was really impressive to see the views and to share my ins and outs of the ministry. I got to speak with one man who really opened my eyes to a new kind of youth ministry. One that is spirit led, one that is filled by the grace of God.
This fall, the students involved in c3 student ministries are going to own their identity in Christ. They are going to not only learn the stories of God, but have the story of God in their lives and become a part of that story. I will do what I can to be in the lives of these students and build authentic relationships with these students. God is in control. If I fail big, it's because I know God told me to do it. I can no longer hinder what the spirit can do in this group. After seeing some of the dynamics of other groups, I have learned my new purpose for Christ. It is still the same purpose but it is now a new fire ignited inside me.

the silver screen...

So the other day I was listening to my iTunes at work and I had it on random play. It played some songs I like, some I haven't heard in a long time, and then it came to this one song, Cinematic by Cool Hand Luke. I honestly don't remember how I got this groups CD. Their album is a 5 out of 10 at best, but this song is really solid.
It talks about what life would be like if our lives were like a movie. How would we react when the hero, Jesus, dies? What would we do and how would we handle it? It's a cool concept because how do we react when we think about our hero dying? How do we handle the death of Jesus and how does it affect our daily lives?

Yesterday, I was sitting in my office on a teleconference call with my friend Eric, who used to be a former youth pastor of mine and is probably the closest person to me outside my own family. He and I were planning for the fall and spring semesters for the upcoming year. When we sat down, I heard the passion in his voice about really getting this kicked off right, holding God in the
front, and treating God like God. God will do big things this year, is what he said to me on the phone. And looking back to this song, Cinematic, the song really opens up our minds eye to see where Christ really is.

A lyric in the song says, If I am supporting actor than the Oscar goes to you. If my life was cinematic, with a sound track so dramatic. You'd be the hero and you would save me and it would be the greatest ending.

Eric's brother, a friend of mine as well, passed away in December 07. It was a very hard time for Eric, his family, and for all those who knew and loved Mikey for who he was. I handled the news by cleaning my house to stay busy and not think about it. It is crazy to think about our hero dying in the time we need him the most. Eric has shared many things with me, but God is bringing him out of
a rut. Eric is finally getting back into that spot where God needs him to be, where I need him to be, and where Mikey would want him to be.

When a hero dies in a movie, everyone in the audience is somber and sad. We never want the hero to die. The good news about Jesus is who rose back from the dead. He is still alive today. He is alive in me, in you, anyone who reads this blog, in the world, etc. Jesus lives in each of us and His words and parables are even more relevant today.

It has been a long journey for me as well this past month. Having a major knee surgery and learning to live a life different than what I was living. Learning to eat healthier, depend on others to help because you can't do it all on your own, and learning to lean on God through His understanding and not my own.
It is my prayer that the movie of my life ends in happiness and that people are changed through it. Not because of what I have done in my life, but because of how God used me to reach those around me and in the community around me.

I like movies with action. I like Michael Bay films. He always like to have a lot o
f explosions, car chases, and a lot of heart pounding adrenaline action! I need to be a man of act
ion. I am not saying I need to run from the cops for a car chase and get on the 5'o clock news, nor do I need to blow anything up. BUT, I do need to follow Christ and trust He has my best interest at heart. Trust that He knows what He is doing. That is a true man of action, and at the end of my movie, before it fades to black, the hero will have saved me to have the greatest ending of them all.
Also, just for randomness, I want my coffin to have an envelope painted on it that says "return to sender".

back to the grind...

I have been out of commission for about 3 weeks now. It is crazy. It has been 4 weeks since I broke my Tibial plateau and it has been 2 weeks since I had surgery. I have to stay off my knee for 3 months! No pressure on the knee! I am not excited about this, but today I decided to come back to work. It has been an experience sitting at home. I have been through the ringer with emotions. Some days I am in a lot of pain, other days I am depressed, and other days I am really up beat and in high spirits.

After going through all of these different emotions and moods, I really began to think about where my priorities have been. So often we get washed up in our own emotions, we forget those around us and the things that matter the most. This knee surgery has changed my life for the time being, and I have to adapt to a new way of life, but God is healing me, I lived through the surgery (even though I thought I was going to die) and I have the support network of hundreds of people. The church I work for has been nothing but awesome and Godly too me.
I have really started to learn what it really means to depend on God and others. Honestly, my dependence on God was limited for a few weeks as I thought this was the worst thing that ever happened to me. It might be, but that's also the soap opera drama part of me showing. It is not a good thing. I am learning, slowly, that God is doing big things for me and for the church and those around me. I was more worried about how I am going to be able to move around on crutches than going on retreats with my students. I realize now that I can move around and I will be able to go on the retreats. God will bless me and help me and so will those around me. This summer and all the events we have planned here at c3 student ministries is awesome and God is going to use the events and retreats we go on to bring other students in to learn more about Him. Use me God....
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