Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jasper Speaks:

It is so cold and wet here today. I miss the spring. We are having a quiet day. I found some fun old pictures to put up on Facebook. That has been the most productive part of the day.

Dare2Share is in town this weekend. We aren't there. I have no guilt about that. It is the same thing every year and they have been annoying about hounding us to go. We have another church (from Kansas City) staying at church. They have never been before and seemed to be enjoying it. I do feel like people expect you to go to this event. Still, I see no real reason to go every year to any event like this. Jeff, the Youth Pastor before me, went every year. The older kids got burned out and now the younger kids see that the older ones don't care so they won't get excited about it either.

Tonight we are going to have dinner with Michele and Dennis. It has been a long time since we have seen them so I am excited. We will all go on the cruise together in 30 days. We are going to talk about it tonight. We are going to make some plans and stuff. Should be fun.

Here are some of the pictures I found:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jasper Speaks:

So, I keep forgetting to blog this but I have a beef with a question that comes up in my life. The other day I attended a relative's funeral. Some of the family that I really like were there. We enjoyed talking and catching up. We had a sweet time reminiscing about out loved one who had gone before us to Heaven. In conversation one of "my people" asked, "So do you think you will ever get your own church?" There are other ways this question comes up. Sometimes it is, "Are you ever going to be a real Pastor?" The latter version is not my favorite at all.

This question is hard because I understand to those outside of "professional" Christian circles, it seems that all support staff positions are there to only bide time while you get to be a Senior Pastor. For me that is not the case, nor has it ever been. I am a Youth Pastor because there is a distinct call on my life for this area of ministry. I mourn a day that MIGHT come when I am called to do something else. I enjoy it. This IS my dream job. So, to ask if I will ever be a Senior Pastor in some ways negates the call God has placed on me.

I love students and student ministry. I can think of nothing on Earth I would rather do. I have even tried some other things and found further confirmation of my call while doing them. I find my place in this area of ministry. I will never say never but for now, I have no desire to be a Senior Pastor. I don't think it is the way God made me. I like being on a team and being one of the supporting players.

My relative did not realize that I preach every week. I lead two separate small group Bible studies every week. I lead a team of volunteers in programs that mostly rest on my shoulders for planning and execution. I develop and oversee a multi thousand dollar yearly budget. There is not much that a senior pastor does that I don't do as well. The things he does that I don't are things I have little or no desire to do or learn much more about.

So, I am a real Pastor. I do have my own church. I am proud and excited at pursuing the call of God on my life. I will humbly step down from my soap box at this time.
Jasper Speaks

I am listening to my seminary class online while trying to do some other things. I enrolled in this course in order to see if I could finish my Master's degree. I wanted to "prepare" for life after student ministry. The class has been less than impressive. I am trying to figure out if God is speaking to me through my frustrations. Maybe I don't need to finish. I just started a long time ago and it has always been that undone thing hanging over my head. Sigh.

So, how do you know how to prepare? If I don't work toward finishing am I limiting what I can do next? I think I would like to teach student ministry classes at the college level some day and I will need a master's to make that a possibility. I also think I would love to be an Associate Pastor of Discipleship somewhere. We will see what God wants.

None of this is like next week or something. I am planning on doing Student Ministry at the local church as long as I can. It is what I love. As I was reminded last night when seven kids stopped by my house unannounced and it was fun! So, I am just trying to prepare for rain but am not yet sure there are even clouds in the sky.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jasper Speaks:

So Reality Check was not so great last night. I didn't do a complete crash and burn but I never really felt like I connected completely with the kids. I hate weeks like that. It seems to come more often when I really spend time thinking and praying about my message. That frustrates me. It seems like the weeks I am crazy busy and get the office on Wednesday morning only knowing the topic of the night (and this happens A LOT), God guides me through a message that really works. When I prepare before hand and spend all the time I can thinking and looking up the passage in commentaries and things, it just blows. I don't know.

On another note, Franklin Graham (Billy's son) is doing a teen target crusade here in August and I am on the follow up committee. I am leading the volunteers who will organize the decision cards and assign them to churches after the event. Could be a lot of fun.

Next week I am CRAZY busy. I have lunch dates on Monday and Tuesday. We are going out of town on Friday afternoon through Saturday and then a mad dash back VERY late Saturday night to be back in time for church on Sunday morning. Ug.

Today we had lunch with Dad and Jackson was very grouchy. When we got home he laid right down without much of a fuss. Of course we did hear him jumping around in his bed at midnight last night. Ug.

Our cruise is 31 days away. Kendra is psyched. I am going because I love my wife. We will see.

I am trying to prepare for this summer. I know what my theme is going to be for messages; Long Walks on the Beach: An Intimate Summer with Jesus". We did Old Testament all last summer ("Kickin' It Old School: Life Lessons From the Old Testament") and it went over really well. I am hoping this will too. I am still not sure who my intern will be. I have give Aaron until April 1st to decide. He did such a good job last year and I would love for him to come back. Still, he has many issues to think about there. I only have a couple of other leads and so far none of them have "wowed" me. Aaron gets right of refusal.

So, that is my random post of thoughts today. My goal is to blog a little about Reality Check every week. Here are the outlines from the first three weeks of our current series, Growing Deeper in Your Friendlist:

Week One

Growing Deeper In Your Friendlist
Cultivating Relationships That Go Beyond The Surface

Week One – Profile of a Real Friend

About Me

I Feel I Have Several “Real” Friends

1 2 3 4 5

My Friends Influence My Choices

1 2 3 4 5

I Feel Like My Friends Are a Good Influence on Me

1 2 3 4 5

My Friends Are a Very Important Part of My Life

1 2 3 4 5

News Feed

  • 70 percent of teens talk daily with friends on a cell phone.
  • 60 percent of teens send text messages daily.
  • 54 percent of teens instant message.
  • 47 percent of teens send messages daily over social network sites.
  • 22 percent of teens send email every day to friends.


Your Notes

What Does REAL Friendship Look Like?

Real Friends ACCEPT you the WAY you ARE

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs: 17:17

Real Friends ENCOURAGE you

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Ephesians 5:11


But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today , so that none of you is hardened by sin's deception. Hebrews 3:13

Real Friends STICK BY you
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Real Friends FORGIVE you

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32-33

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Status Update


Jesus is THE real friend who accepts, encourages, sticks by and forgives.


Week Two

Growing Deeper In Your Friendlist
Cultivating Relationships That Go Beyond The Surface
Week Two: Limited or Full Profile Friends

About Me

My friends’ opinions affect me.

1 2 3 4 5

My friends really care about me.

1 2 3 4 5

My friends are there for me no matter what.

1 2 3 4 5

My friends really listen to my problems, fears, etc.

1 2 3 4 5

News Feed

1960’s Poll – Top Influence in a Teenager’s Life

  1. Parents
  2. Teachers
  3. Spiritual Leaders

2000’s Poll - Top Influence in a Teenager’s Life

  1. Friends
  2. Media – music, television movies, etc.
  3. Parents

In a recent Gallop Survey, when asked if they completely trust and confide in another person who is roughly their own age, 83% of teens say yes, while 15% say they don't have anyone like this in their lives.


Your Notes

Your friends have a great influence in your life.

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Your friends’ influence should help you not hinder you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Proverbs 4:9-10a

You will go deeper in your friendlist when you invest in real friends.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:10b-11


Status Update

_____________ is committed to surrounding myself with real friends


Week Three

Growing Deeper In Your Friendlist
Cultivating Relationships That Go Beyond The Surface
Week Three: Ignoring The Peer Pressure Application

About Me

I have felt pressure to act a certain way by my friends at some point.

1 2 3 4 5

I have felt pressure to do something I didn’t want to do by my friends at some point.

1 2 3 4 5

I often take stands and do not give in to pressure even from my friends.

1 2 3 4 5

I find it hard not to give in to what my friends want me to say or do.

1 2 3 4 5

News Feed

Last Week:

33% of Teenagers Rate “Having People Like Me” as the Number One Goal of Life.


Your Notes

Who you hang out with MATTERS.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Keys to Surviving Peer Pressure:

Don’t WALK.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked … Psalm 1:1a

Don’t STAND.
Nor stands in the way of sinners … Psalm 1:1b

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Don’t SIT.
Nor sits in the seat of scoffers. Psalm 1:1c

Do PLANT ROOTS.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:2-3

Status Update
Jasper is choosing to ignore the negative peer pressure application.

Growing Deeper In Your Friendlist
Cultivating Relationships That Go Beyond The Surface
Week Four: How Not To Get Unfriended

About Me

I am very good at keeping friends.

1 2 3 4 5

My friends would say that I am a good friend.

1 2 3 4 5

I wish my friends were more loyal to me.

1 2 3 4 5

I want to be a better friend.

1 2 3 4 5

56% of teens say they would rather spend time with their friends than their family


59% of teens say they have between one and ten friends.

36% of teens say they have multiple friends whom they have never met but talk to frequently online.

Week One:

Real Friends ACCEPT you the WAY you ARE

Real Friends ENCOURAGE you

Real Friends STICK BY you

Real Friends FORGIVE you


HOW TO DEVELOP LONG LASTING FRIENDSHIPS

Decide to BE a REAL Friend
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14

Decide to FIND the Right Kind of Person
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. Proverbs 13:20

Commit for the LONG HAUL
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24


______________
is __________________________________________________