"his half is glass full!" - the cuz

yeah, the cuz says some pretty funny stuff.

this past week i was at the national youth workers convention in sacramento. whoa. that's all i have to say. top tier speakers, awesome seminars, and some of the best christian artists out there. simply amazing. not to mention that i went with a whole crew of youth ministers from socal (9 in all). man what a great week. here are some of the highlights from the convention:

seeing 3500 youth ministers and volunteers in one room. mi amigo merlin made a great observation about why this impressive: at most jobs you work alongside others who are involved with your daily work, and you have a common bond to discuss. in youth ministry you don't really get an opportunity to have someone else who knows exactly everything else that's going on. so to be able to laugh at jokes about youth ministry is a huge thing, kind of a relief of sorts. for me, it was nice to know that i'm not the only one with a messed up office, poor parent communications, and an addiction to lost on weds nights.

bands that played: third day, steven curtis chapman, david crowder band, chris tomlin, shane & shane, starfield, kutless, 4th ave jones, kendall payne, lost and found, and the swift.

renewing my love for road trips with the fellas. oh yeah, and getting to hang out at some great truck stop dives.

a lot of the speakers kept talking about building intimate youth groups. these are guys that are published authors, and leaders of youth ministries of several hundred kids a piece. with that in mind, i was really floored hearing these guys speak, and talking to other youth ministers from large churches about their goals and aspirations. all of these things that they were striving for, were things that i feel are our strong points. here i am looking to them for guidance and ideas, and they keep talking about things that our youth group already does. for example, one guy said he would give anything for his kids to say that they love each other, and just simply give each other a hug. man, if i forget to yell '5 HUGS' at any youth event i might get ran out of town. so this has me re-thinking a lot of what my goals are for the youth group. i threw down a challenge a few weeks ago to double the youth group in a year, and now i'm seriously re-thinking that challenge. this has me in a lot of prayer lately.

it was amazing to me how many people were complaining about their jobs. i love my kiddos. no questions asked, even the ones that are a pain sometimes. there seemed to be this air about some guys that they got into youth ministry to put on laser shows and run sound, and teaching the kids the gospel was a second tier part of the job description. while this may sound negative, it was really re-affirming to me about how i view my work. that, and it was a great reminder that a band, a light show, and a huge stage are not a sign of a good youth group, just a big one.

i'm not the only one who hates lock-ins.

i'm not the only one of my friends that watches lost. i asked the guys if they were in a hurry to get to sacramento, and as soon as dantheman mentioned he wanted to get checked in before lost was on, the other guys all had a look of shock as we all realized we shared yet another common bond. speaking of lost, we are all mad because the commercials said there would be questions answered. not only were no questions answered, but twenty more were raised. ugh. i'll have to tape it tonight.

nine chiefs and no indians make it tough to decide on where to eat every meal for six days. and taking initiative to suggest a place means if said restaurant is lame, it is def your fault. yeah, we had a lot of fun with this.

downtown sacramento was pretty cool. everything was in walking distance. it's fun to be a downtown person every once in a while. some of the guys weren't as excited as i was, but when i explained that it was quicker to walk, than to find a parking space they came around. and, i love wandering around downtowns.

we got to see the governator! the last afternoon we were eating lunch on k street, which runs behind the hyatt where mostof our group was staying, and the schwarzenegger family lives. anyways, we're just chillin, grabbing a bite, when arnold comes walking out of a steakhouse across the way. everyone cheered for him, and he waved at us. pretty cool. the funniest part though, was we had a guy from colorado with us that talked all week about wanting to see the governor, and he was inside getting a refill when it happened. needless to say, we had a good laugh when he didn't believe we saw arnold, and then went running after the gov. not a good idea. we had to tell him to stop or the security guards (just imagine the size of the guys that protect a former mr universe) would prob break him in two. yet another good laugh.

what else...

well, i can't really think of anything else from last weekend. reality has kinda hit now that i'm back in the office. right now i'm working on copying cds of the lectures for the rest of the youth min crew, getting our youth group hoodies done ($20 if anyone wants one), getting a couple of drivers for a youth rally on friday, our jr high camp, merry xmas madness 05, magic mtn, paintball, thanksgiving plans to europe, our spring break college tour, not to mention the five or so kids with identifiable crisis in their lives.

sounds like a lot, but i'm keeping a pretty good mood about me. i had a really good conversation with this chica from quizno's yesterday, and a guy a wal-mart last night, where i really felt like i was doing my part to be an evangelist. feels good to have that focus. and, the quizno's girl had my favorite quote of the day, "you don't look like a youth minister. they're cheesy."

oh yeah, and my sister posted some really amazing pics from her semester at oxford. she def inherited my dad's gif for photography. check em out at http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/acuinoxford05/my_photos

one love, one heart.

1 comment:

Eric said...

amen for road trips my friend, got two big ones myself planned for the next 6 weeks or so, but just weekenders. glad to hear the youth convention was so uplifting, makes me yearn for it even more. take care brother.