Tuesday, April 27, 2010

take me out.MOV

A little "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" as sung last night at the Cubs win!!!


Watch it HERE

Cubs Game last night

Jackie and I headed down for a very chilly night at Wrigley Field.

Fortunately for us, the Cubs won!!! Beat the Nationals 4-3 in the 10th. Unfortunately for me, Jackie didn't bring enough clothing for the night.

And it was cold.

This is the view from our seats... pretty good seats and a nice night. But this shot doesn't show the wind that was blowing straight in from the lake and was cold!

But we had a good time... Even if we were frozen!!!

(Literally my hands were numb and tingly when I got back to the cruiser...)


Daily Read April 27, 2010

Psalm 107:8-9 (New International Version)

8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,

9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

Monday, April 26, 2010

iExit (All Stays) - Youth Worker Tips

This blog post falls into the Youth Worker Tips and Technology section. So if you aren't a youth worker, this post may not apply to you. (But if you are a dad taking the family on a vacation this summer... you might wanna keep reading...)

A couple of months ago, I downloaded an app that I thought would be useful. I didn't realize how useful until this weekend.

If you are a youth worker who takes students on trips... any kind of trip or any length of trip... and you have an iPhone, you need this app.

Here's the basic gist of the app and I think you'll see why this is helpful. When you load it up, it uses the GPS in your iPhone to find you. Then it tells you what exits are coming up on the interstate ahead of you (based on your direction) and what restaurants/gas stations/hotels/etc are at that exit. It will also tell you what the nearest rest area is and how far away it is.

We had a couple of situations this weekend when we're traveling along and students needed to go to the bathroom... Boom! I load up the app and I know how far it is to the rest area or whether we should go ahead and stop now. No more "maybe just a few more miles... can you hold on... hoping there's a rest area around the next corner..."

Also, if you want to provide multiple selections for a lunch stop (cause nobody can agree on McDonalds, Taco Bell or Wendy's... why not all three?), it shows you the best exit to stop for that purpose. It also provides you with phone numbers (if you want to warn the restaurant before your posse of 55 middle schoolers and 3 adult leaders is about to descend upon them) and addresses if you need to reprogram your GPS to take you there. You can also... although I haven't done it yet... save certain exits as favorites so you can remember them for the future.

It's a great app. And for $2.99, it's a pretty good buy for those youth workers who are going to travel with students this summer... or any time.

Pick it up HERE. You won't be sorry!


Cubs game tonight!!!

I've been looking forward to today for a variety of reasons. Today has been pretty much a chill day at home. I'm going to work on my talk for tomorrow's chapel at Aurora Christian School... but otherwise I'm just chilling, reading, blogging, went for a run...

And headed to the Cubs game tonight!!! Jackie and I have tickets for the 7:05 pm game against the Nationals. It should be a blast. I've been looking forward to tonight since we bought the tickets back on the first day of ticket sales. (I'm wearing my Cubs shorts with my Cubs shirt right now... putting on the pinstripes for tonight!!!)

Should be great! Silva is pitching and he has been lights out all season. Look for some pictures tomorrow!!!


Daily Read April 26, 2010

Psalm 103:8-12 (New International Version)

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Daily Read April 25, 2010

Psalm 92 (New International Version)

Psalm 92

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,

2 to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,

3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.

4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

5 How great are your works, O LORD,
how profound your thoughts!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Daily Read April 24, 2010

Here's a good verse for today at Believe...

Psalm 81:1-2 (New International Version)

1 Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout aloud to the God of Jacob!

2 Begin the music, strike the tambourine,
play the melodious harp and lyre.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Daily Read April 23, 2010

Psalm 84:10 (New International Version)

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

CIY Believe - Holland, MI

In a couple of hours, we'll be departing for a couple of days in Holland, Michigan at Believe.

This event is an incredible 30 hours of intentional middle school programming that is totally top shelf! (Check them out HERE!) They do an incredible job with worship, speakers and other presenters that bring it for middle school students.

I am so looking forward to this trip. It will certainly be a great one!

On the flipside, this is also my last trip with the FVCC students. So while this trip will be incredible, it will also be bittersweet for me.

I'm hoping to get a few photos up tonight!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daily Read April 22, 2010

Psalm 19:14 (New International Version)

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Daily Read April 21, 2010

Psalm 19:7-11 (New International Version)

7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chick-Fil-A in Aurora...

Of course...

I blogged about this almost a year ago (HERE) and last time I checked, I was still a top result if you googled "Chick-fil-a in Aurora, IL" (Number 5 on the list!!).

Now that I'm leaving the area... they are finally breaking ground!!! (Check out the story HERE!) Ugh! I can't win!

It is a great restaurant and I'm bummed that I won't be able to enjoy it! But it will certainly be a huge hit in the area and I'm glad that Chick-fil-a is moving into the area. If you get a chance, go get a chicken sandwich (best anywhere) and some chicken strips (also best anywhere).

They are planning (according to the article) on breaking ground tomorrow (Wednesday - April 21).

On that note: I think I'll go have lunch...



Title Package: "I Love My Church" from North Point Media on Vimeo.

North Point put together a little video celebrating their volunteers. Very nice!!!


Daily Read April 20, 2010

Psalm 19:1-4 (New International Version)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Daily Read April 19, 2010

Psalm 8:3-5 (New International Version)

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reading list for the next two weeks...

So... my seminary work for this semester should be wrapped up this week. Basically I've got a couple of little projects to finish and then I'll be done with another semester.

And since I'm wrapping things up here in the office this week and I'll have some 'down' time next week, I was thinking this morning about what I should be reading over the next two weeks.

I think I've arrived at a good mix. Here's what I'm planning to knock out in the next two weeks:
  • Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields - This is oldie, but a goodie. I got this book over 10 years ago before I started in Meadville. It has guided my thinking about youth ministry in ways that I'm sure I don't even realize. I've read it about 5 or 6 times, but I thought I'd read it again with fresh eyes heading into a fresh ministry. BTW: This book is currently under revision... and I can't wait to read the new version!!!
  • Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis - I got this book (of all 7 books) a couple of years ago for Christmas and I've never read it all the way through. This book might actually push me to get it done in two weeks since it's nearly 800 pages covering all of the Chronicles. I have read individual books... but never the whole collection. This book falls into the "fun read" category.
  • Jesus Centered Youth Ministry by Rick Lawrence - I started this book last fall... but never finished it. I hate to start things and then not finish them... especially books. So I'm going to knock this one out just so that I can say it's done. It's pretty good... and pretty challenging places... I've just never finished it.
  • You Were Made for More by Jim Cymbala - This book was a gift from one of the leaders at FVCC. It has sat on my 'books to be read' shelf for over a year and I thought it was time that it got read. So it's up on the slate for this week or next. It will be a good devotional book to read along with my daily Bible reading.
Altogether that should be about 1,500 pages in the next couple of weeks. That should be quite challenging... but do-able... that's only a little more than 100 pages a day. And it should be some refreshing reading heading into a new ministry.


Daily Read April 18, 2010

Psalm 8:1-2 (New International Version)

1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise b]">[b]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

A week of lasts...

I was thinking this morning, as I was getting ready for church, that today (actually last week for some) begins a week of lasts.

  • Last Thursday was my last day with my middle school guys' small group.
  • Today (Sunday, April 18) is my last day at church at FVCC... lots of last conversations, last handshakes and last hugs...
  • Monday is my last staff meeting.
  • Wednesday morning will be my last morning meeting with the men's Bible study that I've been a part of for a year and half.
  • Wednesday is my last day in the office at FVCC
  • Friday and Saturday the days of my last trip with my middle schoolers... CIY Believe in Holland, MI.
I'm sure there are others... and I may come back and add them if I think of them.

It's kinda odd... so much of my life over the past 5 years has been tied up in this place and with this people. It's odd to think about life beyond FVCC. But after next Thursday (April 29), I'll head into that next and new chapter of my life. Because April 29 is my last day in the area... I'll be on the road to Zanesville that day. Then it will begin a whole new list of firsts...


Friday, April 16, 2010

D.R. video 2010.wmv

This is a little video that Goodie put together for our group's trip to the D.R. Enjoy!


Check it out HERE.

Daily Read April 16, 2010

Psalm 63:1 (New International Version)

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Daily Read April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Toby Mac's Tonight (Official Music Video)

Toby's got a great new video... "Tonight"!!!

Check it out HERE


Daily Read April 14, 2010

1 Samuel 17:34-37 (New International Version)

34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daily Read April 13, 2010

1 Samuel 16:7 (New International Version)

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Daily Read April 12, 2010

1 Samuel 15:22-23 (New International Version)

22 But Samuel replied:
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Turn the page... Transition

This morning was a tough morning at church. It was my last morning working with my students on the weekend (I've got a couple more nights of small group) and the last time that I'll have a chance to speak to them as a group. I will be at FVCC this coming Sunday, for the last time as staff, but I didn't want any kind of reception or recognition next week because the children's ministry is putting on a musical and I didn't want to overshadow that and our students our going to support the children.

The church also hosted a reception lunch after second service.

I talked to the students about faith... the importance of putting their faith completely and solely in Christ and Christ alone. While I can't wait to see what God does in the lives of the students in that room (like he has in the lives of so many others), it was still a bit heartbreaking...

As one page turns to another.

I felt...

And a whole host of other things. It was encouraging to listen to folks in the church share with me thoughts, memories or things they will remember about our five years here.

We are looking forward to the next page of ministry. The next couple of weeks will be spent handing off ministry here and preparing to begin ministry in Zanesville. We're a bit saddened at the change. We are, however, thrilled and excited about beginning ministry at North Terrace.

I will begin in Zanesville on May 2.


Daily Read April 11, 2010

1 Samuel 3:19-21 (New International Version)

19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Daily Read April 10, 2010

1 Samuel 3:8-10 (New International Version)

8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."

Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"

Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Daily Read April 8, 2010

1 Samuel 2:2 (New International Version)

2 "There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Daily Read April 7, 2010

Joshua 24:14-15 (New International Version)

14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Daily Read April 6, 2010

Joshua 10:12-14 (New International Version)

12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
"O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."

13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

For my Dad... on his birthday!!!

My Dad turned 58 today.

This was a special birthday for him since a couple of weeks ago my sister gave him and my mom their first grandchild... Michal Allie.

Mom sent along some pictures on the hospital's website. This one was one of the best.

I love this picture... and just in case you don't quite catch the irony of the names here... my niece's name is Michal... My dad's name is Michael.

Happy 58 Dad!!!


Monday, April 05, 2010

Daily Read April 5, 2010

Luke 24:36-49 (New International Version)

Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Post D.R. Trip thoughts...


It's Easter Sunday morning and I've got a bit of time. So I began to think back on the trip last week. (Mostly because this morning everyone that I've met has asked me about the trip.) I began to think about the highlights of the trip... what are things that I won't ever forget about this mission trip?

First... I won't ever forget Alyssa's baptism in the Ocean. What an incredible way to end a week of mission's work and a trip... with a baptism... in the ocean nonetheless!!! I've baptized a lot of students over the years, but this one is definitely in the top 5 as far as memorable baptisms.

Second... this group of students. We had the perfect mix of students this year. They played well together... they worked well together... they got along great!! I'm sure there were some little arguments and tiffs along the way that I'm not aware of, but from my perspective, they hung well together. As the leader, it's always a blessing when it works out like that. It always seems to be the case that there are a couple of students on every trip that don't want to work or play well with others... that was not the case this year. Great, great student connections.

Third... being apart of building a church that will bring others to Christ. What we did last year was incredible... don't get me wrong. One of the greatest things about last year was where we were working. We spent all week digging a well and working in their active garbage dump. This year, we spent our week tying rebar that would support the floor of the church. Thousands of feet will cross that floor... and thousands of lives will come into contact with the living Jesus in that church that we helped to construct. Those 13 students, 4 leaders and Fox Valley Christian Church will forever have a part in that church, those people who come to Christ there and Gabriel's ministry to Santiago.

Fourth (and finally)... the continued connections with members of G.O. Ministries. Last year, we worked with Jen Goodenough (it's really her last name... seriously...) and Eric Leach. This year, we had a chance to work with Jen again and Isaias (Gabriel's youngest son). It was great to have a chance to continue to work with familiar faces. BTW: If you are reading this and you are considering doing a short term mission trip with your church, G.O. Ministries is a great organization to work with... they are truly top notch!

It was truly an incredible trip... for so many reasons that I don't have time or space to list. It will be one of my top 5 most memorable trips for sure.

BTW: This isn't the last of the pictures... if you've enjoyed these pictures, I'm going to post some more because there were many that didn't make the cut during the week. But I'm going to post up the "best of the rest" pictures this week. So check back this week for more glimpses of the trip!


Daily Read April 4, 2010 - Easter Sunday

Luke 24

The Resurrection
1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8Then they remembered his words.

9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Daily Read April 3, 2010

Luke 23:32-35 (New International Version)

32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

Friday, April 02, 2010

Team 1 is home...

We are collecting bags!!! Team 1 is back!!! Team 2 is in the air!!
Home soon!!

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Daily Read April 2, 2010

I'm going to take a break from my normal daily reading postings as Easter approaches. I think that it would be inappropriate to not spend some time reading about this special time during the year.

Luke 22:14-23 (New International Version)

14When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him." 23They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

D.R. Trip 2010 - Thursday (Beach Day)

Today was beach day.

Which is actually a pretty important part of the reentry portion of the trip. Today we went back to a somewhat normal pattern of life for Americans. We hung out at the beach... we went shopping and bought things to bring home... we drank pineapple drinks... and had a lot of fun hanging out together.

Here Elisabeth and Bekah are enjoying their drinks!!!

But one of the best parts of this day... we baptized Alyssa this afternoon at the beach!!!!!

Here Jackie is baptizing her while I attempt to protect her from the waves.

The weather wasn't great today. It rained most of the way up... it rained most of the morning... and into the afternoon. But after lunch, the rain stopped and the sun came out long enough for me to get a little sunburned. But the scenery is incredible!!

We wrapped up the day in the American way with some incredible pizza. And there wasn't a single slice left on the table when we got done.

Finally... One last thought about Alyssa's baptism. When the team came down last year, we went over to a church and watched Gabriel baptize a member of his church. This afternoon, he got a chance to watch us baptize a member of our's. I thought it would be great if Gabriel prayed for Alyssa after the baptism... which he was more than happy to do!

Definitely one of this trip's highlights!

More thoughts on wrap up after we get back. Team 1 rolls out for the airport at 7:15 am (local time) and I should be tweeting our return. Team 2 doesn't roll out until 1 pm (local time) and we'll be letting you know about that as well. Watch the Twitter feed on the left side of the blog for updates. See you all soon!


Daily Read April 1, 2010

Joshua 5:13-15 (New International Version)

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"

14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord a]">[a] have for his servant?"

15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.