Friday, May 02, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

The end of another week is here! I am so glad tomorrow is Saturday! This is the only weekend this month we don't have plans. I would like to rest. I am so sleepy today and not sure why. I slept very well the past two nights.

We need a new lawn care service. The one we hired came once and we haven't heard from him since. The grass is up to our ankles and growing because of the rain. We have a new guy coming tomorrow. I hope he is better.

The talent show is today at school. I am not really looking forward to it. It makes me have to be here a half an hour longer than usual. Yuck!

Not much happening here. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Currently Watching
A Streetcar Named Desire

Jasper Speaks:

Last night at Reality Check was interesting. The kids were a little crazy. We had A LOT of technical issues. The message was on tithing. I think money is always a hard subject to approach. I pray that the discussion that we had would inspire these guys, even at such a young age, to give back to God.

I am looking forward to the weekend. It is the only weekend all month that we don't have something going on. It will be nice just to chill some. I feel so overwhelmed with the two jobs. There are just so many details that are getting overlooked at church as a result of not being there all the time yet. The plates are spinning, I just wish they could spin with a bit more power and ease.

By the time I come back to school on Monday the teacher countdown will be down under thirty. That is a good feeling. I have spoken about my frustration with being double minded before. I feel like I can't give 110% at church as long as I am still teaching too. I am so excited for the summer and what God can do!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

So uh yeah. This really displays my age and Christian music un-coolness but I still love this guy:

Currently Watching
Secondhand Lions

Jasper Speaks:

From time to time I am completely overwhelmed with the fact that God uses me in ministry. I am a broken, sinful man and He still wants to use me. So often I fail and God raises me up to be used by Him again. He is constantly reminding me that it is all about Him and not me.

I think it is healthy to feel unworthy. I think when we start to feel we deserve any of the things God has given us, we are in danger of a major screw up. Do you ever really feel how far from God we are --- how far we miss the mark? Sometimes even when I think I am doing my best, I am failing miserably. Still, God uses me in remarkable ways. I stand in awe of that.

I am a little drowsy today. Sometimes I get these massive cramps in my thighs ands I was up battling them last night quite a bit. The pain is overwhelming and there isn't really any way to stretch it out. I couldn't believe the pain. I wish I knew what caused it and REALLY wish I knew how to make it go away.

I am teaching on tithing tonight. This is always a cumbersome task. God has taught me a lot about giving to Him. In the end it is all His and not mine anyway. I pray I can communicate that in a godly way.

We had our friend Michelle over for dinner last night. It was very fun to eat with her and watch American Idol together. Pray for her. She is taking a leap of faith and quit her job today. I have been there and it is not easy. I pray that something will come along for her soon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

A Simple Review:

So, a network of youth pastors in my area (of which my predecessor was one and I inherited) is doing an event for youth leader training in May and Chris Folmsbee is one of the two keynote speakers. I didn't know much about him and didn't feel like I could really get on board with the event or take my leadership to it with no knowledge of what was to come. So, I picked up his book, A New Kind of Youth Ministry, and thought I would see what he had to say.

I have really struggled through the book. I found something early on that I did not fully see as a biblical teaching and this made me read the book from there with an even more critical eye.

The book talks a lot about "reculturing" ministry. Folmsbee speaks of changing why we do ministry as we change how we do it. My issue began in the chapter on reculturing evangelism. On page 33, he states, "It means letting not yet believing people to speak into our lives and impart their own wisdom, knowledge, and skill. Are Christ followers the only ones who can help you move through the trials of your life"?

I struggled with this. Perhaps I am taking it for more than what he means but he is encouraging Youth Pastors to encourage their students to seek "wisdom" from non-believers. I believe, completely, that this is a non-biblical teaching. Psalm one says, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers". This tells me that absolutely our students should acknowldege that the answer to the question posed by the author is a resounding, "Yes, Christ followers are the only ones who can help me move through the trials of my life!"

Encouraging our students to seek counsel of non-believers is a very dangerous thing. When I think about the culture that my students are immersed in, I see that there is much ungodly guidance they will receive if they let "not yet believing people speak into" their lives. Just this morning I passed a girl in the school hall whom I pass most mornings whom I know has been studying Wicca. I pray for this girl daily. Still, I would hope that in the "trials of life" one of my students would not let this girl "speak into" his or her life.

Admittedly, I let this quote taint the way I read the rest of this book. I do believe that Folmsbee gives good reminders about what is important in ministry. Still, I take issue that many of these ideas are "a new kind of youth ministry". Most of the things I agreed with are staples of the way I have done ministry for most of my nearly 20 year career. Again, even when I agreed with something, it was either a needed reminder of what is important in a part of ministry or something that to me is a "duh" moment about how to do ministry. There were other moments as I read that I had to stop and think, "I am not sure I think he is on point there". Those moments came enough to make it a distraction to my reading.

The last couple of chapters are the strongest. It took me several weeks to get there because I just could not keep my attention into the book. They address reculturing ourselves. I think that these chapters go to the root of what most needs attention in modern student ministry. We, as the leaders of students, need to make sure that we are chasing after God with our whole hearts. We need to be sure we are not in this for the glory of the game but for the change we can help come in the lives of students. Folmsbee also wisely cautions to approach change carefully. I think this is wisdom that will help young student leaders especially. Folmsbee reminds us that in order for change to come you have to know and navigate the waters around you. That is sound advice.

I will be attending this conference but I am glad I took the time to read Chris Folmsbee's book so that I could be better armed to open up dialog with my leadership about what is good and not so good about Folmsbee's view on ministry --- even if it is not as new as he may think.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

Just finished A New Kind of Youth Ministry. I will try and post a review tomorrow. Still stewing over it. Hmmmm ...

Jasper Speaks:

I had a pretty good weekend. We finally got the house looking more like our home as we got a lot of pictures hung. Jackson's room is pretty much done. I am so glad about that because he has always had the room where we had to store stuff and now he has a WONDERFUL room that actually looks like a room for a little boy. It is full of cool sports stuff and stuffed toys (he is all boy so he won't play with them but they make great decorations).

We had a problem with our hot water heater and had to shower at the hotel this weekend. It is a great thing that we live only like 3 minutes away. Stupid traffic. We could only live 1 minute away if there weren't stop signs. LOL!

Aaron is coming to be our intern this summer! That is exciting! I know God will do GREAT things in his life and our ministry this summer! It is amazing how God works this stuff out! Just last week I had no intern and was freaking a bit, now I have Aaron and can't wait!

I love Michele and Dennis. They are friends I totally don't deserve. It is amazing how God brings people like that into our lives. They are so giving and I enjoy sharing life with them. Plus, they really love my kid. They rock!

Tracy you are good too!

Looking forward to getting another week out of the school countdown. We are watching movies (Tennessee Williams plays) in American Lit and doing some Tupac Shakur and The Freedom Writers (leading up to a movie) in English II. Should be an easy few weeks. That is the goal.

Overall, I am in a great mood. Hope it sticks through the day. It could get ugly. No reason. I just know that history says that it could get ugly.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

My Body is worth more than my pal, whose page I jacked this from! Good for me!

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