Friday, September 17, 2004

Happy Moments In Ministry This Week

Jasper Speaks:

A couple of cool things happened regarding former youth that made me smile this week so I thought I would share.

First of all, two of my former youth (whose wedding I performed last year) just had a baby boy on Sunday. It is really my first youth group grandbaby and he is more than ADORABLE! (He looks like his daddy without the chin strap!) It was wonderful to be there and hold little Malachi for nearly 45 minutes as we talked and I am honored to have shared in so many significant moments in their lives. The couple are now youth leaders so the baby is destined to become the new youth ministry mascot. There is nothing like a newborn baby to remind you that only God is God. Click HERE to see the happy family!

Also, one of my college students (who always held a special place in my heart) called me this week from school. She was crying. You see, she had just come back from a chapel service at school and called me at the office to tell me she had just accepted a call to ministry. She will be great at whatever God wants her to do. As we talked and I encouraged her she cried some more and shared with me how joyful she was that she had finally taken this step of faith. Then she said the words we don't get to hear too often, "Thank You." She told me how much influence my wife and I have had on her life over the past years and how much she loved and appreciated us. She told me that God had used us time and time again in her life and she just had to thank me for it. Then I started to cry.

All in all it has not been the best week of my life. There have been some really big struggles, but God is so incredible. He gives us moments like these to help keep us going.

What has he used in your life this week?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Quote For Today

C.S. Lewis Speaks:

"The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination".

Jasper Speaks:
It does seem that many times surrender equals pain. Service is all about sacrifice. It is hard to rememebr when you are in the middle of seeking God's will that soemtimes it doesn't feel so great. This is beacuse we are either unwilling to do what he says or we are frigtened to take the step of faith that it requires. God never promised a life without pain but he did promise an end that is worth it all.

Useless Fact For September 16

The Fact Speaks:
An average toilet uses 5 – 7 gallons of water every time it is flushed. A single leaky toilet can waste more than 50 gallons a day, amounting to 18,000 gallons a year.

Jasper Speaks:
WOW! Our bathroom toilet has been leaking ever since we moved into this apartment. The amounts of water wastage could be staggering!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Quote For Today

Corrie Ten Boom Speaks:

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"

Jasper Speaks:

How often do we make prayer our last resort? If we communicate with God regularly He will direct every step. Still, I know I am sometimes guilty of praying as an after thought. This is an important reminder that we need to approach the throne of grace continually.

Useless Fact For September 14

The Fact Speaks:

There's enough energy in ten minutes of one hurricane to match the nuclear stockpiles of the world.

Jasper Speaks:

Well, one of my college aged students is at Pensacola Christian College which is supposed to be right in the line of Ivan so I have hurricane on the brain. Also, Kendra's company owns a WHOLE BUNCH of hotels in Florida and basically the call center has become next to nothing but, "Yes Sir or Madame, I said that particular hotel is closed until further notice due to the hurricane." You would be surprised at how many people don't realize that when an area is evacuated so are all the hotels! SHEESH!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Useless Fact For September 12

The Fact Speaks:

A hailstone weighing more than one-and-a-half pounds once fell on Coffeyville, Kansas. No one was hit.

Jasper Speaks:
That is one big hunk of ice!
Youth Leader Meetings --- It's All About Themes

Jasper Speaks:

We had our beginning of the year info meeting with our adult leaders today. It went very well. We made it thematic and decorated the room for back to school. Kendra and I finger painted last night and made encouraging posters that said things like, "Jason Loves Teens" and "God Thinks Natalie's Cool" and "I See God's Love Shine through Pat!". We made pep rally posters for each of the schools that we have represented in the youth group and hung them up in the room too. We also had these cool name plates that were in the shape of school buses that we placed on the table.

We served brown bag lunches and gave the leaders each a backpack shaped lunch box we bought for cheap at Walmart. Inside there was a water bottle that came with it and then we filled it with mini school supplies like crayons, rulers, pencils and mini notebooks and filled the front pocket with candy.

We started the meeting talking about what our first experiences at Junior High and high school were like. It was a lot of fun. Our main ministry team ranges in age from 21 to 55 so it was pretty varied and interesting.

We actually got a lot done with our planning and talking about the new year with its challenges as well. The leaders even wanted to take their encouragment signs home with them. That was pretty cool! It was a really good time.