We live in a world of sin and imperfection. I am a child of God striving each day to live out my calling. Welcome to my blog where you get the inside scoop of this Youth Pastor's world!
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Great Grandma's are GREAT!!!! :)

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!!

Today is this beautiful woman's 88th birthday!!! I have been blessed to know her for 25 of those years. I am also incredibly blessed to be 25 and still have my great grandmother here. I called her on her cell phone this morning and talked to her. She is going to get her hair cut and go to dinner with one of her daughters. What a great way to celebrate 88 years of life.

Here are some photos from my life that include this amazing woman. By the way the font is so large in case she ever wants to try to read this! :P





















Here are a few of the things I have learned from Grandma over the years or a few of my favorite memories.

1. How to cook. She is an incredible cook. Fried Chicken, Homemade Noodles, Macaroni and Cheese...and a whole lot more.

2. I have decided the reason microwaves beep to remind you that your food is prepared is because of her. I don't know how many family meals we would go to heat up leftovers and the corn would still be in the microwave :)

3. I love her stories about her childhood. And how amazed she always is by the technology that has developed in her lifetime. She remembers a time before the radio and I called her this morning on her cell phone!

4. My favorite New Year's Eve of all time I spent with her, just the two of us watching I Love Lucy reruns until we fell asleep in our chairs, long before midnight.

5. I love playing games with grandma, as kids we would play things like Monopoly at the bar in her house, and of course card games are a necessity in our family.

6. I remember sitting next to Grandma at church while my grandparents sang in the choir, I remember being overwhelmed by the different church tradition, but she was always comforting and willing to explain.

7. I remember coming into her home and finding both her and grandpa reading the Bible during their morning times of devotion.

8. She was incredibly devoted to my grandpa when he was alive. Her world really revolved around him, I remember wondering what she would do when he was gone. He has been gone 9 years and she is still busy and going strong.

9. I learned that its ok to drive over the speed limit with Grandma in the car because she will lie and get me out of a ticket when the highway patrol pulls me over! :P

10. I learned not to take my eyes off of her when we go out because she might disappear when you turn around, and its kind of scary looking for your lost grandma, especially in a place like a casino! ;)

11. I learned when she takes you shopping that you have to pick something no matter what, because she gets sad when she can't buy you something.

12. I learned that if it is your "birthday" at a restaurant they will sing to you and bring you cake...even if it really isn't.

13. She always says anytime we go somewhere that she never thought she would live to see one of her Great Grandkids drive her in a car.

14. She has been at everything possible my whole life. Family is a huge priority and she makes sure we all feel special.

15. It never fails when my food supply is low there is a care package waiting for me from Grandma. She does her best to remember our favorites, our allergies, and to make sure we have a variety of necessities. Anywhere from Toilet Paper to Mac & Cheese.

16. Over the years we have taken many pictures together. I only have a few on my computer. I'm wishing now I had scanned the one from the photo booth at Jarin's Wedding where we were being incredibly silly.

17. Grandma's eyesight is failing her and at times it is scary and others it is quite hilarious. Most recently she mistaken-ed my brother for my boyfriend and it was very humorous.

There are many more things I could include in this but for the sake of the size of the post I will leave it with this random number of 17. If you happen to see this lovely lady today make sure you tell her Happy Birthday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bathsheba

Title: Bathsheba

Author: Jill Elieen Smith

What's it About: This is a fictional depiction of the story of Bathsheba and David. It covers her life before David, the sin that unites them, and their life and love all the way until Solomon becomes king over Israel.

My Rating out of 5 stars: 5 Stars. I loved this book. This is book number three in the series David's Wives. I read Michal back in college and Abigail over a year ago. I don't know why it took me so long to finally buy this book and read it but it was definitely worth it. Jill Eileen Smith is an incredible author, she keeps these stories as Biblically and Historically sound as possible. Women are rarely mentioned in the Bible and even then their stories are kept to the minimum. This was the culture back then, women were not the way we are today. It drives me crazy when an author or movie writer makes women from Biblical times more like an American woman of today. Smith keeps these stories so sound, while you're reading these stories you think it really could have been this way! This is definitely solid Biblical fiction, and a well written love story on top of that!

I do own the paperback version of this entire series if you would like to borrow. 

The picture as always is a link to Amazon where you can purchase the book if you like!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Parents, You're More Important Than You Know!


I found this picture on Facebook and posted it earlier this week. Being a youth pastor I see this every day in my job. The children and youth in my programs have so many options for their time and commitments, it is exciting each week how many of them choose to be at church. There are times where I'm sure some parents don't realize just how important they are in the decisions their children make. I know there will always be that kid that will make the right choices no matter what their upbringing was like, and then there is that kid that had all the guidance in the world and still makes the wrong choices but for a majority it starts with the parents.

This week being what it is: Holy Week, is such an important time in the Christian calendar. As I look back over my life I realize how important it has been in my own life, thanks to my parents. You see I grew up in the church and it has always been an important part of who I am, and that importance has grown stronger the older I get. 

I chose today to write this post mainly because of the date. Yesterday I finally took the time to fill out my Certification paperwork to become a Certified Youth Director in the United Methodist Church. This is something the UMC offers to help insure they have educated people working in the ministries they offer. This was a huge mountain in my mind for me to accomplish, I'm really not sure why it scared me so much but it did, so it sat on my desk for a year and a half before I completed it. But it is finished and ready to send off. There will be an interview process later that scares me to death but at least this step is finished.

While I was working on the paperwork I saw the date of my Confirmation, or the date I officially became a member of the UMC. April 15, 2001. 

13 years ago today I stood in front of my church, my family, and God and vowed to live my life for Christ and be committed to the UMC. At the time I honestly had no idea what I was saying. I really don’t have a lot of memory of this milestone of my life, but I do know that I lived out that vow every day after, even if at the moment I didn’t know what was going on. On Sunday, I watched a young lady make this same commitment, and I know she spent some time thinking about what it meant for her life and she stood ready for this confirmation experience. 

March 26, 1989 was my first Sunday in church, it was Easter Sunday, and three days after I was born. Growing up I always felt like that made me important somehow. I didn't know until recently that it was Easter Sunday, I just always thought it was awesome that my parents were THAT dedicated to take their 3 day old to church. In my mind it made a statement for the rest of my life. 

March 23, 2008 I turned 19 on Easter Sunday, We did a special thing from Good Friday to Easter Sunday where someone was praying in the church the entire time. I took the midnight shift into Easter. That way I literally started my birthday praying in the church. I also wrote my first sermon that day!

Growing up, church was requirement. It was just what Sunday morning was for, you only missed for illness, maybe family vacation, or a family event. I am pretty sure that each year, except for maybe the first couple, I can count on my fingers how many Sundays we missed. My father would work nights and then be in church on Sunday morning because he thought it was that important for not only a family to worship together, but for more young men to be present in the church and to be a strong faith leader for our family. I don't really remember wanting to fight against getting up on Sunday mornings. If we missed a Sunday the whole week just didn't feel right. In high school, youth group became very important to me. I wish now I knew then about the different things the Conference did, and about church camp, but youth group was my place. I refused to work, rehearse, or do any other event on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. No job, activity, or event was more important to me than being in church. I never had a problem with it either. My theatre directors were both Christians and they knew I would be there when church was over, or I would make up the time later, or they just wouldn't schedule things during those times. I think I might grumble more now about having to get up on a Sunday morning than I ever did as child or a youth, and its my job now!

So thank you Mom & Dad for making church a priority for us growing up. Thank you for living out your faith openly so we could see what it means to be Christian. Thank you for instilling in us the importance of education and hard work. Thank you for supporting us through everything we chose to do and still chose to do. Thank you for making decisions for me when I was a child that set building blocks to who I am today. Thank you for making faith a family thing. I don't know who I would be or what I would be doing without all the building blocks you set in place for me. It is your example, your lessons, your witness that run through me every day I spend in ministry!

It looks like my 2nd Easter was 24 years ago today! :)

 I pray each of you parents realize your importance and your influence, whether your children are young or grown! Don't give up, even if it doesn't seem like they are paying attention or like they care. God trusted you to be their parent, so you have a mighty job to do!
Children don't forget to thank your parents!

Happy Holy Week - I pray you find hope, peace, love, and joy!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Last Ten Pictures

So I was reading one of my best friend's blogs. And her latest one looked like too much fun not to copy. So I am.

You're supposed to post the last 10 pictures on your phone. I decided to bypass any that were work related, and just do the random ones from my life!

1. This past weekend we did a work day at Camp Horizon, and I got to put up this decal. It is very pretty but it sure was a pain. The walls are textured, so the letters didn't want to stick that well.

2. Adam moved to Hesston last week. He is very excited to have his own place. I snagged this pic as they were moving the Entertainment center inside. One of my youth kids, and his friend came to help so I had it easy!

3. I love just about any chance to grab a picture with my sister Shayna! Isn't she beautiful!!! Thanks Daric for marrying the sister I always wanted!!!

4. My great grandma will be 88 this month. Her eye sight is getting bad, which is comical when she thinks your brother is your boyfriend. I am so blessed to still have her in my life, and it is fun to take pictures with her, even if she can't see the camera!

5. We celebrated my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in March. It was a lot of fun getting together as a family. This is a picture of their cake! 

6. I took a picture of this sign while walking through the store, because I really like it but figure I can make it cheaper than I could buy it. It says, "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you..."

7. In November, a ring I have worn since 8th grade broke, so I decided to replace it with my birthday money. This is the replacement.

8. My cross wall got too full so I had to start a new one. The big one is the cross my brother made me for my birthday.

9. I really wanted chocolate cake on my birthday but I refused to make my own. So I waited two days and then made it. I had to put white frosting on part of it so Adam would eat some.

10. This is the purse I bought myself with my birthday money. I took a picture of it to send to Nicole and Sabrina, I was afraid it was too old lady like, but I love it. They assured me it wasn't




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Garden of Stones

Title: Garden of Stones

Author: Sophie Littlefield

What's it About: This was the most recent book for bookclub. We will discuss it at our April meeting. I finished the last one early so I started this one early. I figured it made sense to keep going if I was going to actually attend this year. 

This book is about Japanese Americans during WWII when they were all sent to the Confinement camps. It flashes back and forth from during the war to about 30 years after the war. The main character Lucy is a teenager during the war. She lives in a little bunk with her mother. Her mother is more than likely bi-polar, she is a drop dead beautiful woman and the white men, who work in the camp take notice. There is a lot of sexual abuse, and a murder. Lucy ends up with horrible scars on her face from a burn her mother gave her to insure that no man would ever hurt her. She ends up with her daughter Patty. Lucy is accused of murder in the 30 years after the war part. Patty gets married and everything ends calmly.

My Rating out of 5 stars: 4 Stars. I really liked this book. I was hooked from the beginning. There were a lot of cliff hangers in it that kept you reading on to see what happened or what really happened. It is so sad that things like this actually happened and in some places are still happening today. This should be an interesting discussion at book club!


As always the picture of the book is a link to Amazon if you would like to purchase it.