Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tree Hunt!

Recently I took the student leaders of 180 on a Tree Hunt. On the way I thought it'd be a good idea to get me and the students in my car into a life threatening experience. Once again let me explain in one word descriptions. Car. Me. Others. Driving. Driving. Ice. Slick. Turning. Mas Turning. Loudscreamingandcraziness. Safety. Relief. So I know that Loudscreamingcraziness isn't one word, but you know what I mean. So we hit ice and slid and that was real silly because I had students in my car and I felt like I put their lives in danger. So, I'd just like to shout out to Jesus for keeping us safe. Now it's your turn.

When have you been in a life threatening experience and how did it change your life? Feel free to try the one word descriptions method :)

Here's some pictures of the tree hunt that followed our life threatening experience. Props to Dalton, Kelsey, Karlee, and Andy who endured with me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hot or Not Pockets

OK - New Discussion...How do you feel about Hot Pockets? Ready...Go.

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Hotpockets, Hotheads, and the Homeless

So the other day I'm driving to church and I see this lady on the side of the road with a sign. The sign reads "Sober, Hungry" - thanks for the honesty. Let me preface this story by saying that I was very impacted by Mike Yankowski's speech at Oneighty a while back about the homeless in America (he wrote the book "Under the Overpass"). So, the light is red and I'm waiting while I see this sign. Ever since I heard Mike's speech about the homeless (because he lived it in a few cities in America voluntarily) I've totally changed my response to these situations. Praise God for the two Hotpockets and the sports drink that I had grabbed for lunch. I waved the gal over and she came out into the middle of traffic. As I'm giving her the hotpockets, I'm thinking "hopefully she can find a microwave." Anyways, this punk dude next to me in a really nice truck rolls down his window and yells "hey there's a labor ready a block down the street!"

Now I'm a youth pastor...he doesn't know that though:) So all of a sudden I'm like "Leave her alone!" This is not normal behavior for those of you who know me. I was seriously SO mad. This guy doesn't know her story. He doesn't know what she's been through or the heartache and pain that she has experienced getting to this point in her life.

I know many of you are reading this with your mind made up about the homeless. I used to feel like this. I would say, "I work, why can't they?" Or "they're just drunk all the time?" Or whatever thoughts you may think. I can't say that they don't actually prove these stereotypes to be true - so you may be totally justified in what you are thinking, but lend me your ear for a second.

When I heard Mike Yankowski speak about this issue - something clicked for me and it really came back to the words of Jesus. "What you have done to the least of these you have done unto me." Now put it in whatever situation you want - I'm applying this to the homeless lady that I see with the sign. I don't give the homeless money, God would have to really speak to me for that to happen. But I always try to give them food or whatever. Think about it, you're actually ministering to Jesus Christ when you do something for them. You may have had your decision made about them, but I'd just challenge you...I know we're busy, but it takes 30 seconds to help someone. Stop traffic, and change someone's day. Carry around McDonald's gift certificates in your car and give them out.

Back to the guy who made me mad...I think what made me the most mad was that he had no compassion. He was ignorant of her situation, and yes maybe she was a drug trafficker at one point from Costa Rica, maybe a stripper or a murderer. Now she's here on my street in Bend, and God says she's the least and when I give to the least I'm really giving to God Himself.

I'm working on this too... If you give them help and are afraid that they'll use it to buy drugs or alcohol (in this case they would have to sell the hotpocket for cash - - I say go ahead and try - - would you ever buy a hotpocket from someone on the street?) Just place it all in God's hands. You are really serving Jesus, give them a Hot Pocket (or what you have) and return the love that He so graciously gave to us.

Question: How do you feel about the homeless?

Here's a picture of a bus to inspire you (because you like pictures:)
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Above the Noise Oct. 31st

We held an Above the Noise worship concert with a stage in the middle of the room on Oct. 31st. Another attempt to bring all the fame to Jesus! Great things happened in people's hearts, here's a few shots courtesy of Benjamin Edwards ( Check 'em out! - Casey