Archive for March, 2008

Win Free Concert Tickets!!!

Look who is coming to Northway Church – Clifton Park in April!

This weekend is Easter, so whichever student brings the most friends to any of the 10 weekend services,  you will win free concert tickets!!!

Either way…check out the concert info below! This is an incredible line up! Tickets will be available soon at UNITED and guest services! You can purchase the bands cd’s at the Source bookstore this weekend!

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Ghandi said it like so many…

Ghandi

Mahatma Ghandi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the early 1900s. He helped lead India to independence, and was later known as the “father of the nation”. His influence affected most of the world at the time! He practiced Hinduism all of his life, but believed all religions to be equal. He had many different friends throughout the world, many of which were evangelical Christians. These Christians would try to convert him, but he never would because of one reason.

Are you ready for this? This is what he said about Jesus Christ and Christians :

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

This hit me hard when I saw that. I feel like that is what so much of the world is screaming about Christianity. I think that one of the biggest things that hold people back from coming to Christ are the very people that call themselves “Christians”. We live in a self-centered country where we put our preferences above what God called us to do!

Pastor Buddy hit this point hard this past weekend! He shared some statistics about the churches in America that I knew about, but for some reason had never hit me as hard as it did this week!

This is what the statistics say:

- 80% of the churches in America are dwindling!

- 80% of the churches that start up will fail.

- 6 churches close EVERYDAY

So many Christians go to church for themselves, not caring if anyone else knows the Jesus that they know. As a result, Christians don’t really care how people in their communities perceive them. I know I used to be a part of that.

When I put my preferences for church above what God wants for church, God gets shorted! The church is not my bride, it’s God’s bride, so for me to say how church should be or should not be is wrong. I’m still trying to process all of that…

I am so glad that I am a part of a church that leverages culture like Jesus did to reach people. I want to truly put God’s way above my way in everything that I do. I don’t want to be selfish with my faith anymore. I don’t want to just be a consumer Christian!

If you are a Christian, would people see Christ or someone like what Ghandi saw? Who is in your circle of influence right now that does not even know that you are a Christian? Easter is coming up! Who can you invite this weekend?

Weekly Re-Cap / Thoughts

- Crazy…exciting…fantabulous week!

- I had a great time at our High School LIFT camp planning meeting! This is going to be the best year of camp yet!

- I MISSED LEAH…

- We had our Malta campus volunteer (VIP) training meeting. (I was feeling a bit under the weather)

- I was working down in Rockland county near Bear Mountain the last part of the week. Amazing scenery down there!

- I drove over 800 miles total! My poor car…

- Another amazing weekend at Northway! Pastor Buddy was back from China.

- He talked about how God wants us to GO tell the world about Jesus. He also talked about why so many “Christians” are not doing that in America.

- I can’t wait to blog about it later this week.

- We had a bunch of camp sign-ups turned in! We might just have to charter 10 buses!

- Some people are also wanting to sponsor a student for camp! We have a lot of students that want to go, but can’t afford it…

- Leah and I had the best Lasagna ever at Wheatfieldsin Saratoga! We like to go there and share the lasagna since it seems like one serving can feed a family of eight!

- I discovered news radio this week. (my FM radio in the car doesn’t work)

- I feel like so much happened in the news this week! (Atlanta tornado…Manhattan crane accident…stuff in Tibet…stock market stability…Our own governor Spitzer (Grrrrrrrr)…presidential campaigns…and on and on and on!)

PARTING FACTs: 

Cockroaches can live for 9 days after their head has been cut off.

dustmite1.jpgNo word in the English language rhymes with “month”

The average bed is home to over 6 BILLION dust mites! Check out the pic! (I’m allergic to dust so this is close to my heart. I used to live in a bubble…Okay maybe not a bubble, but I think my parents considered it once or twice back in the day) :)

Great Weekend So Far!

I recently got back from our Saturday night services and am just pumped up! I feel like I say this every week, but I seriously think it was the best message I have heard in a very long time! Pastor Buddy brought it tonight! I will blog later about what he talked about! The worship band was amazing too! If you go to Northway, you don’t want to miss this weekend!

Just Because…

Watch this video! This is a video of a security camera that apparently filmed a “ghost” going by! You can see a “ghostly” figure go by and hear it as well! I never was sure about the whole ghost thing, but now…well, just see for yourself! Let me know what you think it is!

WARNING: If you scare easily, are afraid of ghosts, are pregnant, suffer from a heart condition, or seize easily, then you may not want to proceed. You know you want to though!

Kid’s Menu Duel

Leah and I were at Nothing But Noodles last night, which happens to be our “go to” place when neither one of us wants to cook (and when I have to work late). It seems like we always end up going on kid’s night when they have this clown guy making animal balloons for all the kids. Last night was NOT kid’s night, so it seemed a little quiet. Leah and I decided to grab kid’s menus and have a little KID’S MENU DUEL!

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Let’s just say that I won at the maze, tic-tac-toe, word search, and figuring out the hidden message! Leah did win first prize for the neatest penmanship though!

Teenager Trend “Predictions”

 I recently came across an article about teenager trends that are taking place now and will be in effect for years to come. We are already experiencing a generation that is shifting from the conventional ways of Christianity and exploring more options to live out their faith. Dare 2 Share recently did a study “forcasting” the spiritual pulse of todays’s teenagers. Dare 2 Share is a non-profit ministry that helps teenagers to know, live, and share their faith.

Below is kind of the “cliff notes” version of what they came up with. If you work with students, then you can probably see that what they came up with is very much a reality! These thoughts are purely those of Dare 2 Share. I am just bringing a shortened version of them to you.

Here we go:

1. “Go Green” will become the rallying cry for this generation

Today’s teens are looking for a cause to believe in and many will be finding their cause in the Green Revolution. As the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War became rallying cries for the younger generation in decades past, this generation of teens is stepping up to embrace the “Go Green” Movement. Just as the issue of global warming has begun to enter the social awareness of the mainstream culture, teens are flocking to the Green Revolution. Teens will increasingly channel their passion and idealism toward environmental causes, and their impact will begin to be felt in everything from vegetarian lifestyle choices to influencing their parents to “Live Green” and buy a hybrid.

2. There will be a rising cynicism toward organized religion among teens

While the Millennials do not necessarily harbor negative feelings toward Jesus, they are increasingly disconnecting from the traditional institutions of organized religion. Emancipating themselves from the institutions of their parents, Christian teens will increasingly reject the established, structured churches of their parents’ generation to create newer, more unstructured approaches to living out the spiritual dimension of their lives, exploring options ranging from internet message board communities of faith to gathering with their friends over lattes at their local Starbucks to talk about spiritual things. As evangelistic atheism becomes more prevalent, as evidenced by the number of atheist-authored books recently appearing on the bestsellers list, it will find increasingly fertile ground among teens disillusioned by organized religion.

3. Teens will utilize technology in sharing their faith

The use of technology and social networks by Christian teens when sharing their faith will accelerate in 2008. MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube provide extensive exposure for creatively using technology to talk with others about spiritual issues. Blogs and text messaging lend further spontaneous opportunities for teens to communicate the importance of their faith in the midst of their daily lives, whether they are communicating to one friend or an entire network of social relationships.

4. Teens will have a higher economic awareness

Economic realities in 2008 will raise teen’s awareness of economic issues due to the increasing economic stratification of society. Climbing food and energy prices, coupled with the ripple effect of the housing market foreclosure crisis will force parents on the lower end of the economic spectrum to say “no” even more frequently to their teen’s financial requests. Conversely, parents on the high end of the economic spectrum will be unaffected by these economic realities and will continue to spring for high-budget item requests like new cars, next-edition iPhones or the Spring Break trip. As a result, teen cliques will become even more aligned based on the economic standing of their parents.

THIRST 2008 Lift Camp

thirstlogo1.jpgI just got back yestrday from a a couple days of camp planning. I always look forward to spending time with this group of youth pastors! I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a while!

Anyway, Lift camp this year is going to be amazing! We planned out all of the things that will take place there. I tell parents all the time that I GUARENTEE that if they send their kid to camp, they WILL come home changed. So far, I have never been wrong with that! I have seen some incredible things at camps in the past 6 years.

So parents, PLEASE SEND YOUR KID TO CAMP! I know they will come back changed! Visit the camp kiosk at church this weekend to pick up all the information that you need!

Weekly Re-Cap / Thoughts

- I’ve had a blog now for a few weeks…I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

- Thanks for your patience! :)

- Is winter over yet?!

- Leah and I got to meet with some of our adult leaders with NSM this past week! They are awesome people with a heart for students!

- We officially started our summer camp promotions!

- We couldn’t of had a better camp promotion than what we had this weekend! Devin Cremeans is the bomb! Watch the service to see what I mean! (It will be up by Tuesday)

- With just the people I spoke to, it seems like we already have at least 30 students going to each of our camps!!!! It’s only March!!! What if we brought 100 students? Can that happen?

- I got to go to all three of our NC campuses on Sunday! It was amazing to literally see one church in three different locations all doing the same thing! I still haven’t really processed all of that yet!

- I got to hang out with Dave Howe (Brian‘s brother), which is always a good time!

- Brian, Dave and I are all going to a camp planning meeting on Monday and Tuesday at Nyack College. I’m sharing a room with them so I’m going to let them share a bed, although that never seems to happen! :)

- I always look forward to hanging out with other youth pastors.

- Okay, the last few things had nothing to do with a weekly RE-CAP…but I guess it does qualify as “thoughts”.

- I’m thinking about starting a “clean humor” website of funny videos and pictures. As many of you know, I have thousands of them!

- Leah is still the best cook (on her nights, which seems to have been all of them this week) Sorry, Leah! I’ll try and step it up this week, and I’ll even do more than microwave hot dogs (Noooo! I do better than that…sometimes!). :)

- Another great week!

Have You Ever Fainted?

I have never fainted before, but for some reason it is pretty funny in some circumstances when it happens! Is that wrong?