Sunday, October 31, 2004
No, this is not a complaint about christmas decorations coming out before halloween. I actually got a little in the mood fo christmas when Kim and I went to see "Surviving Christmas w/ Ben Afleck and Christina Applegate. I would rate it very high on the date movie list. Great Flick. I enjoyed it. http://www.survivingchristmas-themovie.com/intro.html I had a great time playing paintball. I did pretty well considering I shot my own teammate. I didn't mean to , but he wasn't that good anyway. After a little ankle swelling and limping enough to get sympathy from my wife, we went to HELL, oh, I mean mom and dad's. It's not even close to being a terrible place, but it was HOT. Dad and I disagree on the comfort levels of modern HVAC equipped houses. A good 68-70 is prime for me and I remember complaining about the house being so hot while growing up in the old hood. Dad always said when I paid the bills, it could be as cold as I want it. I took him up on it. It was really NOT that bad. I got to watch my Gamecocks LOOSE AGAIN. Why do I torture myself year after year with this. I have to pull for my team, but why do they make it so hard. I hate to say it, and I don't think a band wagon has started, as far as I've heard, but I agree with dad. It's time for Lou to go. I hate it, and I know I can look forward to 4-5 more years in the crapper until the program builds status again, but that's it. Unless some real changes take place in the next few weeks, It's time. Oh well, I give no money, go to know games, and nobody really cares what I think, and you know, that's ok. Why? Because I'm special and I like me. Gotta get ready for Sunday Morning Stuff. l8r
Saturday, October 30, 2004
I thought I was on the way to jail today. I had a major case of road rage because of the road work in front of West Side Baptist on Platt Springs Road. I even had to call some friends just to see if they would bail me out in the event I could no longer control myself. I thought I was going to have to use the 5.7 liter V8 and my brand new rebuilt transmission in my suburban to push cars full of ignorant people OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!!! But I finally reached my destination. It took me 25 minutes to get from west columbia walmart to the church, which is normally 5-10 minutes tops. I controlled my anger (almost) and didn't commit any crimes. BUT I WAS TEMPTED!!! I bought 144 can drinks for FCA 5 th quarter and then settled down to some relaxing xbox. About 5, I left the house, went to springdale elementary to get our snow cone machine, iced down the drinks, ate dinner w/ Perry, and enjoyed the Friday Night Lights of my old high school rival. We had a poor turn out for FCA but we still had a blast. Thomas Yarbouro was the speaker and I haven't seen him in about 10 years. I finally got to meet Dean Howell face to face, and finished up the evening with a diet coke and some pnut m&m's. That's my day in a nutshell. I'll be at Ball Busters to play paintball in the morning @ 9 and I will attempt to NOT break anything. As for now, I'm going to cuddle up with my sweet wife and go to sleep. I hope your day was good and tomorrow will be even better. LIGHTS OUT night-night!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
I overslept this morning. That's really not so bad until I realized I didn't know I overslept. I thought it was 7:30 and instead it was 8:30. Time change isnt til Sunday so I have no excuse. It made for an interesting conversation with my wife about something I was supposed to do at 8:30. missed that one. Here's another cheesey church sign. Eat your beans. They're good for your heart. But Jesus is better. I got a million of them. I don't know how many youth pastors, workers or preachers look at this sight, so this may have nothing to do with most of you, but for those who are in my profession, you'll understand this. Last night, we continued into our 3rd week on Healthy Friendships. We are talking about developing a community of real, godly, loving, accountable friends to strengthen our walk with God. We are also talking about how to be influencial as a friend to a non-believer without being influenced to turn away from God. The best way for the 2nd to work is to have the 1st in place. Anyway, last night was just tough. We talked about spotting counterfeit friends and I just wasn't feelin it. I'm using some new material from Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall. Good stuff called 7 checkpoints (http://www.dashstudentleadership.com/site.html), but it's not using very much scripture right now. I spent the last 2 years throwing out cirriculum that was too shallow and so beneath the students ability to grasp, and spent a majority of the time on verse by verse expository preaching and teaching. It helped some, but the masses couldn't or wouldn't plug into it. SO, we changed directions, got hold of good cirriculum (am I the only one thinking good stuff is almost impossible to find?), and started to hash out life. But for some reason, I wasn't feeling it last night. I couldn't get the connection. I couldn't make the points. Just a tough night. We also had some distractions. I don't know, I'm trying to figure it out and I just hope it's a one time thing. Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts out. Don't think it helped me much, just put me off schedule. l8r.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Cheesey Church Sign of the day. Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church. Funny Tshirt: WWJD for a klondike bar This is your daily reminder to NOT get all of your knowlege of God from tshirts, bumper stickers and church signs. Spent some good time with Perry and Michael last night watching our red neck soap opera called wwe wrastil'. OK, hold your opinions and judgements. I always talk about FILTERING the culture and yes, I know it's fake. so SHUT UP!!! j/k. We had a great time drinkin coffee w/ Greg B. and talking trash about growin up in Cayce and Arkansas. I woke up this morning about 6 and played a little xbox. I am ticked b/c after lending my xbox to a halo tournament, I found out someone erased all my screen names including JRoophus. With this super hero alter ego, I finished the game on legendary. NOW IT'S GONE. YOU FREAK!!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?? CURSES TO PERSON WHO COMMITTED THIS AWFUL INJUSTICE AND I HOPE YOUR DRAWERS RIDE YOUR CRACK FOR THE REST OF YOUR NATURAL BORN DAYS!!!! Ok, I'm over it. It's just a game. Yeah I said it. And anyway, Halo 2 will be out in 2 weeks. That'll be my new addiction. l8r.
Monday, October 25, 2004
i vegged this morning with a fast forwardf look at Saturday Night Live from this past weekend. It appears that another bublegum poppy star tried to pull a fast one. When the wrong song started playing and Ashley Simpson's pre-recorded voice came over the system without her lips moving, she responded with a hokey hoe-down dance and then left the stage causing the band to continue playing the wrong song and nbc to go to a quick commercial. She came on at the end a blamed it on her band and live television. ehh, not feeling it. One more reason to be discusted with the music industry. Not just secular, but christian as well. I have no problem giving opinions and I hate to see "Solid" christian families undergo decay. I remember going to a friends house when I was about 10. His parents gave the perfect example of christian home and I felt so good around them. After 10 years, family split up, mom and dad divorced b/c of debt and alcohol, oldest son so bitter he doesnt want anything to do with the family and younger son reaping the benefits of crap that everybody else put on him. My wife grew up in a loving christian home. mom and dad split up after 30 years over mental illness and financial struggles. Now, former youth pastor (Jessica Simpson's Dad) is living the high life on his daughters $ and big natural boobs (His reason for her not being in christian music). Now, little sister throws her profanity and lifestyle around without any known resemblance of a "christian" teen making it big. I'm not one who trashes people for making mistakes, but I am one to look at the results of certain behavior. Judgemental? maybe. Sucked into the world? Ya Think?! Making a positive influence for Christ? Not Yet. Good role model? NOPE!
Saturday, October 23, 2004
So we went to a luncheon in our honor today put on by the singles in our church. They washed my car and stuffed my gut. I had a great time talking to other staff members without agendas Just a short time, but well worth it. That's about all I did today. I watched Return of the King. Man, what a series. Talk about friendship. That's our topic for the next 2 weeks at church. No big plans, just resting up for a sabbath, trying not to let this saturday do to me what the past 2 have. Looks like I won. I'm actually going to bed early. No deep thoughts, no stupid lokes (ok maybe one), just rest. goodnight! ps last night I dreamed I was eating a HUGE marshmellow. When I woke up and my pillow was gone.
Friday, October 22, 2004
I was reading a great post from a college student who is earnestly seeking God. She wrote of the so called "waiting" or "silent" times with God and how those are candy coated terms. She calls it the JUNK of life and I tend to agree. Any attempt to use past experience and God's peace to make it through these times often fall short. I thought of this last time I was in the junk (sometimes I think I stay in the junk). So ponder this, stay awhile and get comfortable, or just click a link and go. I only hope you have as much fun reading it as do writing it. I love to travel, but I want to get there. I always pick "quickest" on mapquest. I guess it's the nature of the beast I call youth ministry. Get there as fast as possible without breaking too many laws. I am overjoyed when I reach my destination saving an extra 13.5 minutes, and I talk about it like I just got elected to congress or something (ok, congress election stuff on tv, A.D.D. moment). My dad, on the other hand, can't stand interstates. He likes back roads, small towns, stoplights on main street america. He plots out his trips by the scenery and the attractions. To him, the trip is not about the destination, it's about the whole trip. He and my mom always come back after a long trip with shirts, coffee mugs, toys for the grandkids and a lot of stories of beautiful places and interesting people. Oh yeah, they talk a little about the place they were going to. OK, what's the point. Dad taught me a lot in this without realizing it. We're always waiting for the destination of our journey. We want to get out of the junk, out of the struggle, avoid patience. Maybe we should enjoy the trip more. This morning I remembered going on family trips. To dad, it was about the journey. To me, it was about the destination. We were both together doing the same thing, riding in a car, goin to grandma's or where ever our plans took us. This added for an interesting dynamic. Dad, trying to enjoy the journey, me complaining and "are we there yet"n. I probably made his trip miserable at times, oh and he definatley made my trip a challenge by tanning my hide. I bet Dad would have rather me learned this lesson as a kid. It is about the journey, But it's also about the perspective. Dad loves travelling with mom. She enjoys his perspective. SO AGAIN what does this have to do with the JUNK of life? PERSPECTIVE. We're on a journy. maybe the silent times are nothing more than an opportunity to change perspective. To learn something about ourself and see what may need to change. My college friend wrote that she longs to fix everybody and she's learning she can't. that's a perspective change. Either way, we've all been there, will go there again and again and again. I hope I can simplify it that much when I'm there. God, help me change my perspective.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Post attempt # 2 b/c of blogger's spell check and its argument with my pop-up blocker. I woke up this morning @ 3:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. O, I tried. Nothing. When I could no longer stand bad infomercials and depressing news coverage, I showered and came to work. Here by 6:30. I was wide awake til now. I don't know why my body was working on the delayed gratification principle. I would have much rather slept this morning. Ah, but more to do have I, mentoring and planning. The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. POPPIES!!! They make you sleep! They also make you test positive for heroine on a drug test. l8r i have to give credit to Robert Frost and The Wizard of Oz. I would not want to plagiarise.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
I'm workin from home this morning getting ready for tonight. My INCREDIBLE wife just brought me a grilled ham and cheese, cheetos, and a cold bottle of diet coke. She rocks. My brother http://ramblingadventures.blogspot.com/sent this to me but was too dignified to post it. I told him I'm a youth pastor, my grotesque and crude humor knows no bounds. Have fun. A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies. 1. "Take it easy Doc, you're boldly going where no man has gone before!" 2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?" 3. :Can you hear me NOW?" 4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" 5. "You know in Arkansas we're now legally married." 6. "Any sign of the trapped miners Chief?" 7. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..." 8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!" 9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!" 10. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity." 11. "You used to be an executive at Enron didn't you?" 12. "God, Now I know why I am not gay." And the best one of them all... 13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is in fact not up there."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Late night b/c I finished Halo on legendary then spent an hour watching halo 2 promos. Not up too late but enough to make me drag this morning. I am struggling with helping teenagers cope with life. How much impact can 1 person have? How much unlearning must be unleashed before real learning can take place? Why is Clifford the big RED dog and not the big purple dog. Barny's purple, but Cliffard's been around a lot longer. Oh well, a million questions and life is a mystery. Coffee filters got the message from the wrath of yesterday, so I had a better prep time this morning. Staff meetings and mentoring today and tomorrow. Should make for some interesting blogging. When all else fails, this one truth remains. It's not what you know, It's what they THINK you know that counts. L8r
Monday, October 18, 2004
Monday, Monday. I overslept this morning and woke up panicking about what day is it and how late am I. Then I realized it's Monday and other than paperwork and planning, my schedule pretty clear til lunch. I have a lot to do, but nothing too pressing. The workaholic mentality kicks in, then the guilt of being a workaholic. I'll finish this, skin the head, hop in the shower and get to work by 10. Does anyone else ever have a problem separating coffee filters? I have the hardest time trying to figure out if there is one or two filters and if the thickness leads the brain to think there's actually two, I spend the next few caffeine withdrawal moments trying to separate them. Every time this happens, I think of the possibility of losing my mind, going postal, blasting my Bunn coffee maker with a shot gun only to turn it on myself. My wife awakes. She and the dog look over my mangled body and SCREAM in horror. I break the day dream as they finally come apart and my shaking hands scoop the grinds half in the filter and half on the counter and floor. Oh, Thank God my bun coffee maker only takes 3 minutes. Ahhhh, my addiction is fed. (I promise, this sounds much more dramatic in my head).
Sunday, October 17, 2004
It's Sunday afternoon between the chaos of 2 Sunday schools, accountability, band practice, and small groups. My wife told me I had horns. I'm almost bald, but when my hair grows out a little, I get these little wing things on either side of my bald spot that resemble horns. I told her i was working one an art garfunkle afro. I'm actually thinking about doing it. Hmmmm. We continued on friendships. We try so hard as leaders to separate our kids from the world that we stop making an impact. Our kids don't become more spiritual, they either become cocky and arrogant in their faith or they rebel against God all together. Oh yeah, or they just go through the motions to keep mom and dad happy. What sets us apart? What's the difference? How do students make an impact? How can God use them to draw others to him? I know the answers to these questions, but getting my kids to care about asking them is another story. Eh, we'll try again tonight. The bottom line is this. Sin nature is enough to keep us separated from God. We don't need the apathy, compromise, and cheesy church mentality to help.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Oops, I did it again. I stayed up til 3AM in a pursuit to finish the assault on the control room in legendary fashion. Halo is new to me. I've had my Xbox since the 1st of August and I have wasted way too many hours glued to the tv screen. It's a release, a break from reality, a test of skills, a tracking of improvement so to speak. It was worth it. I have 4 more levels to finish on the hardest setting. Yeah, I've already seen the alternate ending. The Maw was the second level I finished on Legendary.For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, just wait for Halo 2 and catch the bug. SWEET!I started a 4 week series on relationships last night at church. We have been developing "community" in our student ministry over the last 2 years and I am amazed at what God is doing. I guess it really hit me last night. We still have a long way to go , but we're making progress. Have you ever had a party that your friends didn't show up to? Or better yet, have you taken a friend to a party to meet someone and that person wasn't there. God is showing me about community in a neat way (Brian McLaren calls the word "community" an over used word in recent Christian vocabulary) . Homework, sporting events and the stinking SC state fair took a number of my students away from last night's bible study. I was concerned because they missed a good start to a series with real life issues. But more than that, I saw where their input was missed. Their smiles and encouragement was missed. Their love and devotion was missed. Their corporate worship was missed. I missed them. It's not about what they get from me, but what I get from them. Before you think I'm just selfish and don't understand the intricacies of the teenage schedule, homework load, and the need for greasy fair food, see my point. We had a visitor and a 2nd time visitor last night. I couldn't help but feel bad for them that they missed out on the incredible presence of the ones who were gone.Bottom line, I see an aspect of community that I hate, but I love. I love that I'm learning it. When one in our group is not in our group, the whole group suffers. The whole dynamic changes. We are actually starting to become a real community where all contribute to the stability of the whole. If a soccer team goes into a tournament and the goalie has another engagement, who suffers? That's what I mean.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Too much XBox last night lead to a rough wake up. Peppy always has to go outside in the morning, but I thought since I let him out @ 2:30, he'd sleep a little later. NOPE! Up and whining @ 5:30, leaving me very little sleep. I always have a hard time going back to sleep. So, I got up, ate 2 bowls of generic fruity pebbles, brewed the folgers and snoozed for about an hour and a half. I dredfully need to go to work. Oh, do I have to. I love my job and I can't think of any time I look forward to during the week more than Wednesday Night. Just the starting part is hard. I'll get to work about 10 and home about 12 hours later, wasted and useless just in time to MISS law and order thanks to the stinking Presidential debates. The news this morning said they are going to hit the same issues as the last debate. Tired of it all. I want to tell each of them, "You'll have a greater chance of getting my vote if you leave my Law and Order ALONE!!!! Isn't it enough you made me miss one episode of the LAST SEASON OF NYPD BLUE ??!!! I'm reading a book by Charlie Peacock called "A New Way To Be Human." I hope to post some thoughts on a book reading list I'm on. hopefully today. Well, we're off to the grind. Ooh, sounds like I need to go see Nick @ Starbucks to get a good fix sometime today.
Friday, October 8, 2004
I know all youth pastors have stories about students who are struggling with life, love, acceptance, and faith. They seem to multiply as you build community and see spiritual growth in the ministry. At times I think, "It may be better not knowing the reality of an individual story or issue in the life of a teen ager." It hurts to see them struggle. One has lost a mother to cancer, another lost a father to an affair. A "new" problem of Cutting or self mutilation has joined anorexia and bolemia. Poverty, over indulgence, soccer, track, school and relationships all seem to complicate life and distract from ABUNDANCE in Christ. I guess the difficult part is seperating the hurt for my students from the abundance God has for me. In abundance, I mean LIFE, PEACE, JOY, EXCITEMENT in who God is and what He has done. Not materially, but spiritually. All of this has nothing to do with circumstance. It is contentment with Christ in need and want. I know the answers, but I've been preaching that KNOWLEGE is not the end. Wisdom is better, a combination of knowlege, understanding and experience. I KNOW all of these issues are being used by God to teach and lead me into dependance. I am greatful for the knowlege, but the experience hurts the most. It affects my family, my cynicism and my desire to withdraw into the unknowing bliss of thinking all is right with the world. Throw into the mix the truth of church politics, parents thinking its your job to get their kids saved and excited about church, bills, integrity, unhappy leaders, demon possessed middle schoolers and WAY TOO HIGH gas prices. Whew, I am distracted!!! Lord, You show me in the midst of ALL this, you don't only give peace, You are PEACE. Be Peace in me. I can handle and endure all things, be all things, desire all things in YOU.
Thursday, October 7, 2004
I have been journaling on and off since I was 13. I have another blog through xanga mainly for my students and leaders (www.xanga.com/jayuff). I wanted something a little deeper, a place to post the things I experience. To log my personal journey. I look forward to the days ahead.