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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

D.R. Trip 2010 - Wednesday 1





This morning started off with a great tour of the school.

Here we are hanging out in the courtyard/playground talking about the school. The school is three levels high... although you can't see the top level very well from this picture.








While in the library (upstairs), Alyssa found a book that she wants to read. The library is pretty cool. They have 43 laptop computers (which none of the public schools in the area even have). Which I am also grateful for this week... hence we have Internet to send out these messages each afternoon.







This is a picture of the school from the street. You can see the third level a little bit better.















Some of the students brought books to donate to the school. Books are extremely expensive to buy here. We bought several and brought them down with us. An average children's book, just to give you an idea, would cost about $10-$12. (BTW: G.O. Ministries has set up a "wish list" of books they would like to have... if you want to buy specific books that they need, go HERE.)




Then we headed over for our last morning of work. The group didn't have time for devotions before the school tour, so Justin led us over at the work site.









Then we got to work.

This picture is at the end of the day. We got a lot accomplished and a lot of rebar tied. Most of our legs, backs and hands are sore. And the beach tomorrow... it's going to feel soooooo good!!!



Tonight we are heading down to the monument and to have empanadas!!! So there will be some pictures of that... probably later tonight!


Jim



P.S.: I've noticed that huge numbers of people have been following the blog and checking out the pictures. Thanks!!! We truly appreciate your support, prayers and thoughts!!!

D.R. Trip 2010 - Tuesday 2



Yesterday was my birthday!!!

This is two years in a row that I've been in the DR for my birthday. Last year, they surprised me with a cake. This year Chris' birthday was the 29th... so they brought us both a cake... with a couple of large candles on it. We blew them out.









Since I already had my suitcase... it didn't get lost this year... Gabriel and Tata got me a painting for my birthday. Love it!!!

It's a traditional painting scene for the Dominican. Now the only question is where to put it up... my office or at home...


Jim

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

D.R. Trip 2010 - Tuesday



Today (Tuesday) was all work... All day... and it was hot!!!

We started off this morning moving rebar from one side of the roof to the other. (Only to find out later in the day that it was in the way... which we had to work around).

We started an assembly line to move the rebar... which was extremely humorous to the Dominicans and Haitians who were helping us.



Working with the rebar is extremely dirty. Kathryn seems to find most of the dirt and here is showing off her hands.

Bailey and Jackie didn't get AS dirty... but it's still dirty work.










Some of the rebar had to be cut to a certain length. Nico and Kyle got a lesson in how to use the giant rebar cutter.














We are beginning to move the rebar grid across the floor. What you see in the background has already been gridded and tied and is ready for a second layer of grid. Here, we were about done laying for the day and we're about halfway across.
















With the work day done, we headed across the road to pick up our stuff. We've been storing our bags and possessions in these houses which belong to G.O. Ministries.





Tonight, we are going to the Supermarket... it will be fun night of buying stuff to bring back... Vanilla... Coffee... Yumm!!!!

More pictures tomorrow... if the Internet holds out.

Jim

D.R. Trip 2010 - Monday 2


Last night, we have a little break from all the rebar work all day and went to "Bon" to get some ice cream!!! It was great and we had a lot of fun laughing and enjoying the tasty treat.

Jackie, Jemi and Isaias posed!












Kathryn, Elisabeth, Rebecca, Bailey and Bekah posed!!!














Same group... plus Lisa!!!


















This was the group that went outside... Katie, Alyssa, Nico, Kyle, Justin and Amanda!!!


The ice cream was awesome!!! At least mine was!!



Jim

D.R. Trip 2010 - Monday 1



Hey all...
Sorry for the lack of pictures. I was all set and ready to post and then the internet went out. Bummer about being in a third world country...

But we're up online now.

This is a picture of the Central Church. We are working (rebar) on the second floor... what looks like the roof. But this is what the outside looks like currently.



At lunch time today, we went to the "Hole." It's called the Hole because it is literally a hole where all the water runoff from that section of town runs down into a creek that runs through. The area is controlled by a drug lord who's allowed G.O. to serve the kids. We fed them lunch.

Bailey is posed with a couple of them. They are wild and just want to be paid attention to!





Jemi and Alyssa are helping to serve lunch. These students get a hot lunch because they are a part of the G.O. Kids program. Each kid gets a plate and they know exactly how much they are supposed to get.













Then we went for a little tour. This is what the creek looks like running through the Hole. Every once in a while a strong storm will come through and wipe out the bridge. But imagine if all the trash, garbage and whatever just ran through the streets and ended up here.








After lunch, we went back to rebar tying. Which we've been doing a lot of!!!



It was a pretty hot day. But the work was good.

After dinner, we are heading to "Bon" to get some ice cream. Watch for those pictures next!!!


Jim

Daily Read March 30, 2010


Joshua 1:5-9 (New International Version)

5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Daily Read March 29, 201


Deuteronomy 34:5-7, 10-12 (New International Version)

5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.

10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11 who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

D.R. Trip 2010 - Sunday



It was a beautiful day today in Santiago!!! We were up bright and early... about 9 am... for our first of two church services.

Our first service was at Edward's church... Gabriel's oldest son. Kathryn and Becca posed for this picture on the way in the back of the van.







Following the church service, we all paused while Isaias took our picture outside of the auditorium where the church service was held!!














Following church, we enjoyed some lunch! Bailey, Kathryn and Jemi helped out with the dishes... they're so helpful!!



















In the afternoon, we headed out to a beautiful waterfall!!
















And climbed some rocks!!!



Good day...
Dead battery...
Gotta go!!!


Daily Read March 28, 2010


Deuteronomy 32:3-4 (New International Version)

3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

D.R. Trip 2010 - Saturday



We have had a very full day already. We started off the morning with some Children's Ministry. There was singing and clapping.

Then our group presented a skit about the fall of Jericho. Following that, we passed out some coloring book pages for the children to color.

Here Amanda is helping (which is really hard when you don't know Spanish).




Bailey was the pied piper today. She brought some bubbles... which was a huge hit this morning and this afternoon. They love to catch them and smash them!














A treat for sure!!! Real coke, made from real sugar in real glass bottles!!!

It's awesome!! Lisa, Justin, Nico and Alyssa are enjoying one!!!











Following lunch and a long siesta (which was incredible), we headed out into a more rural area where we helped with Children's church again. Pastor Nico (not the one that we brought) pastors this small church which is in process of building a feeding clinic on the other side.

After this we headed out to Nico's house for a short visit.






Right now we're changing and cleaning up some dinner. Tonight we are heading over to Gabriel and Tata's house for dinner. It will be a great time of connecting this them!!! Hopefully more tonight!

Jim (5:39 pm - Eastern)

Daily Read March 27, 2010

Deuteronomy 31:6 (New International Version)

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Friday, March 26, 2010

We are here!!!

Went over rules... Having snack!!! Excited!!

Miami!!

Getting loaded on the plane for our flight to Santiago... Everything
is looking good... Next check in (hopefully) from GO Ministries!!

Jim Clark

Daily Read March 26, 2010


Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (New International Version)

19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Airport time

We have arrived at O'Hare. We're hanging out at the airport waiting
for our flight. We're scheduled for a 12:35 flight to Miami.

Soon we will be in the DR!

Jim Clark

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Simply Youth Ministry launches rewards!!!

I love free stuff!!!

I always download a free song. I get points on my credit card for free flights. I get points when I fill up with gas to get free gas.

I like free!

So I was pretty pumped when Simply Youth Ministry launched a Rewards page today. Why you ask?

Cause it's free stuff. And it's not just stuff that no one wants... but great stuff!!!

It's a pretty simple concept. Buy stuff... get points for free stuff!!! Sounds good to me! In fact, I went ahead and got some free points today for a purchase I was planning to make anyway.

Check out Simply Insider's blog about it or just go straight over to Simply Youth Ministry and buy some stuff and get some points. (Hint: You get triple points for the next three days!!! Get more free stuff!!!)

And tell them Jim Clark sent you!! (Not that it will really matter to them but it will be fun for me...)

Jim

Uncle Jim (the cool uncle!)


Last night I became an uncle!!!

My little sister and brother-in-law brought little Michal Allie Scott into the world at 10:28 pm. She was 6 pounds even and about 17 inches long (I'm not sure why the length is important... but oh well). Her name comes from 1 Samuel 18 where King Saul gave his daughter Michal to soon to be king David in marriage. (I have to be careful... I keep wanting to type Michael (like my dad's name) and not Michal (like my niece's name).

The birth was 2 weeks early. My sister went in for a doctor's appointment and they discovered that her blood pressure was high. So they put her in the hospital and decided to induce labor, which they did around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Then Michal arrived last night at 10:30 pm.

Both mom and baby are doing fine. From all reports I've heard, my brother-in-law is a little stressed. But he's kind of a wimp. He'll toughen up sooner or later.

But I thought I should post a few thoughts about this important day... I'm an uncle! And the cool uncle at that!!!

Jim

Daily Read March 25, 2010


Deuteronomy 30:11-16 (New International Version)

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

G.O. Ministries Dominican Republic Team Tracker

It's kinda a little crazy. In 2 days, the 2010 D.R. Team will be in Miami right now waiting for our flight to Santiago!!!! Amazing!!!

We've been working on the trip for about a year and it's almost here. Pretty exciting. After all the pecan sales, chili dinner work, personal fundraising letters and the yard sale... we're almost there!

17 (13 students and 4 adults) of us will be heading to Santiago via Miami on Friday around 12:35 pm (American Airlines flight 1933) and then to Santiago (American Airlines flight 749).

We will be doing a little VBS while we're there. We'll also spend three days doing construction. It will be a great trip!!! I can't wait!!!

I hope, while we're there to be able to post some pictures and videos here on my blog. But should I not be able to get online consistently, you can keep up with us on G.O. Ministries "Team Tracker" website/blog. (Check it out HERE.)

We are grateful for your prayers and thoughts while we're gone!! It will be an amazing trip!!!

Jim

thoughts about Caleb...

This morning, I was reading through the book of Joshua. And as I finished up, I found myself thinking about Caleb. Caleb is one of those individuals from the Bible that we often don't think or talk too much about. But this morning, in my mind, he's a powerful character.

To give you a brief history lesson of who Caleb is, in case you're thinking "who?" When the Israelites were preparing to go into the promised land under Moses, he sent in 12 spies... one from each of the 12 tribes... to check out the land (Numbers 13). When the 12 spies came back, 10 of those spies reported (persuasively) that the people couldn't take the Promised Land, even though God had promised to deliver it to them. No one except Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, stood up for following God. (Check out Numbers 13:30.)

The people, however, refused to listen and refused to trust God to lead them into the Promised Land and give them the inheritance that they were to be given. They rebelled... then they grumbled... then they threatened to stone Moses and Aaron... then they tried to take the Promised Land themselves only be driven back... Then they were driven out into the desert for 40 years until all of those unfaithful individuals died (Numbers 14:29). In fact, everyone over the age of 20 would die before they could enter the Promised Land under Joshua... even Moses.

Every one except Joshua... and Caleb.

Because Caleb was faithful, he was allowed to enter the Holy Land (Numbers 14:24).

Then we read this in Joshua...
6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'

10 "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. (Joshua 14:6-11, NIV)

It got me thinking about a couple of things...

  • Caleb stood up for what was right... am I like that?
  • Caleb trusted God in the face of direct opposition (from within and from without) as a leader, am I like that?
  • Caleb remained faithful to God for 45 years waiting for the reward God had promised... am I patient like that?
  • Caleb stood up to friends and relatives knowing that it was to their peril but faithfulness toward God... am I like that?
I don't have any answers to these questions, just thoughts and questions. But I guess this morning, I got a little lesson from Caleb... someone we often don't talk too much about. His lesson this morning was: Lead, assured of God's direction in your life and remaining faithful to His call and knowing that He will give you your reward in His timing.

Just thinking with you...
Jim

Daily Read March 24, 2010


Deuteronomy 13:4 (New International Version)

4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daily Read March 23, 2010


Deuteronomy 11:1 (New International Version)

1 Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Running update...

So...

I'm a little disappointed.

When I started running over 6 months ago, I started with the goal of running a 10k in Santiago, Dominican Republic when we're there for our spring break missions trip. (HERE is my first post about running... I actually started running the first of August... I just didn't tell anyone.)

But I was disappointed recently as it seems that the 10k race that I was planning to run in... isn't happening.

To be clear, I was never certain that it would happen. My hope was that it happened last year and they would do it again this year and I would be ready. Although I am ready (for the most part), the race doesn't seem to be happening.

So as I headed out for my 4 mile run this afternoon, I was dealing with some disappointment. Disappointment because I wouldn't have a chance to finish what I started. Running a 10k in the D.R.




On the upside, some great things have happened. I'm officially back to my college (fighting) weight... 242. I feel pretty healthy. I've run through an injury (Achilles). I've run a 5k. I'm thinking about running a 4 mile race when I get back... can't find a 10k to run. (Before I started I couldn't have run down the street... now 3 or 4 miles is normal.) And I'm toying with the idea of running the Columbus, Ohio Marathon/Half Marathon in October.

So... While I'm disappointed that my original goal won't happen. I'm still running. Still logging miles. And still losing weight.

Jim

Daily Read March 22, 2010


Deuteronomy 10:17-21 (New International Version)

17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. 20 Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daily Read March 21, 2010


Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (New International Version)

12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Daily Read March 20, 2010


Deuteronomy 8:6 (New International Version)

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Read March 19, 2010


Deuteronomy 8:2-5 (New International Version)

2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Ostrich Win!


This just cracked me up!!! I saw it over HERE. Hope it brought a smile to your face on this Friday!

Go ostrich!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daily Read March 18, 2010


Deuteronomy 7:7-9 (New International Version)

7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

D.R. Yard Sale Fundraiser!!!


The hallways of FVCC are packed with stuff for tomorrow's Yard Sale/Fundraiser. (I even found a few things that I wanted to buy!!!)

The yard sale is going to be inside... it's just easier than hauling everything outside. But we would love to have you come and check out what we've got.

All proceeds from the fundraiser go to support the Students' Mission Trip next week!!!

The yard sale begins at 9 am on both Friday and Saturday and concludes at 4 pm. Come on out!!!

40w150 Main Street, Batavia, IL 60510

Jim

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daily Read March 17, 2010


Deuteronomy 6:14-15 (New International Version)

14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daily Read March 16, 2010


Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (New International Version)

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daily Read March 15, 2010


Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (New International Version)

32 So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Minute to Win It - Youth Ministry ready games!!!

We (those of us in youth ministry) are always trying to come up with cool, new, easy games.

This weekend, NBC handed them to us.

I saw the other day on my buddy's blog (Youth Ministry Geek) about the new NBC show "Minute to Win It." I'm still a little frustrated with NBC over the whole Conan O'Brien thing... but I thought I would check it out.

The game idea is simple and totally youth ministry ready. Contestants take on 10 very simple, yet surprisingly difficult, challenges in hopes of winning a million bucks.

Here's where youth ministry comes in. The games are so simple... and so easy to set up... that they are practically begging to be used. Not only that, NBC's website tells you the rules, provides you with a resource list and shows you how to do it. While we don't have a million bucks to give away and can't give it 60 minutes... you could give away simple prizes (candy bars, iTunes gift cards, donuts...) and play one quickly at the start of your student ministry event.

Many of the games require things like panty hose and pennies, plastic cups, pencils, string and candy. They are simple ready to use games to add to your youth ministry. (We tried one today called "penny hose" where students had to retrieve pennies from the bottom of panty hose without using their hands... pretty funny!!) Add a student or a couple, a 60 second timer and you're ready to go!

HERE is a quick YouTube video that we used to introduce the segment... just in case you aren't familiar with the show.

But if you are looking for quick, ready to use and easy to set up games... "Minute to Win It" is your newest helper!

Just trying to help!

Jim

Daily Read March 14, 2010


Deuteronomy 5:6-10 (New International Version)

6 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

7 "You shall have no other gods before me.

8 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Daily Read March 9, 2010


Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (New International Version)

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Daily Read March 8, 2010


Deuteronomy 4:23-24 (New International Version)

23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Daily Read March 7, 2010


Deuteronomy 4:5-8 (New International Version)

5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Daily Read March 6, 2010


Deuteronomy 4:1-2 (New International Version)


1 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Daily Read March 4, 2010


Numbers 23:19 (New International Version)

19 God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Post-Simply Youth Ministry Conference thoughts...

So I've been asked several times yesterday and today about the Simply Youth Ministry Conference over the weekend.

A couple of things keep popping up.

First, and I totally expected this... but I'm always reminded... how incredible it is to rub shoulders with 2,500 other youth workers. Some of these folks were old friends... Dan, Ben, Doug, Brian, Josh, Jake, Matt, Shan, Dave, and others too many to continue mentioning. But many of these folks were new friends. They were folks that I sat down at the dinner table with. They were members of Dan and Ben's student leadership teams. They were folks that I sat beside and across from in workshops and behind in worship. It's always encouraging and exciting to hang out with a bunch of folks who are as crazy about working with students as I am.

Second, I was kinda caught off guard by this... I was amazed and energized by Kent Julian's workshop on Shepherds not Chaparones (he's on Twitter HERE and on the web HERE). I've been to a lot of conferences over the past 10 years of youth ministry and Kent's workshop ranks in the top 3 of workshops that I've taken... maybe even the best. His ideas were practical... they weren't particularly new as they were things that I thought to myself, "Of course... why didn't I think of that?" But they were challenging and engaging in a new way and made me rethink something that I thought a lot about. They will likely affect how I view my volunteer teams in the future. I can't wait to get my hands on his book "Inside Out Youth Worker. It will jump to the top of a very deep pile of books yet to be read.

Finally, I had a great time. I had fun laughing at the Skit Guys and Johnny and Chachi. Jake Rutenbar is incredible. TobyMac rocked the house Sunday night. I was challenged by Doug Fields, The Skit Guys and Duffy Robbins. And it was just an enjoyable weekend.

Aside from feeling a little sick... probably too many handshakes and hugs over the weekend... I feel pretty refreshed. And when I got back to Batavia on Monday, I was ready to jump back in.

Which is the mark of a truly good conference... when you get home, are you ready to go back to the trenches? If so, it was a good conference.

And it was a good conference.

Jim

Daily Read March 3, 2010


Numbers 22:18-19 (New International Version)

18 But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. 19 Now stay here tonight as the others did, and I will find out what else the LORD will tell me."

Monday, March 01, 2010

TobyMac singing Jesus Freak live

Man!!! This song last night by TobyMac took me right back to freshman year of college!!!

Jim

Watch it HERE

Fight The Youth Ministry Stereotype - Jake Rutenbar's new video!

Here is Jake Rutenbar's most anticipated video...

Hot, hot stuff!!!

Jim