Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bremen Youth Center

I have a dream. My dream is of a Youth Center that I would run in Bremen. I need volunteers, suggestions, and a lot of help! If you have any ideas, or resources please let me know. I don't have all of the details yet, and I don't have any resources, but I'm available and ready to get this launched! Below is a brief informal presentation of what I've got in mind...

The Youth Center
Wouldn't it be great if the teenagers in Bremen had a place that they could hang out, and not worry about getting into trouble?
The Youth Center exists for teenagers that don't feel like they belong anywhere. They don't participate in extra curricular activities at school. They don't go to church. They just don't feel accepted. And here at the Youth Center they are accepted.
We don't exclude anyone. So, if someone is really involved in sports or some other activity and they want to hang out at the youth center they are more than welcome.
There will be some life skills groups that students can participate in. We will have an open Bible Study. We will have music, and air hockey table, pool tables and ping pong tables to entertain. There will be some couches, chairs, and tables and chairs to play board games. If the space is large enough I would like to have an area with a basketball hoop as well.
The Youth Center will be run by volunteers. We will be a non-profit organization. Students will not be charged to come hang out. For now, I will be the only full time staff. Hopefully I will eventually be able to hire one or two more full time or part time staff to help out more. This will add depend on how we get money coming in. I am thinking that we will have to be supported by local businesses and churches or something like that.
We will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 1/2 hour before curfew.
One minor detail... I don't have a place to run this youth center out of. And ideas are welcome!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Thin places are those times where the division between this world and the eternal fades"~Mary DeMuth

My dad taught me that we can get a glimpse of Heaven every day. We can make the choice to live a life full of Jesus, and experience Heaven here. There are a lot of reasons that we can complain, or instead we can look beyond our circumstances, and see Jesus.

He was born with a hole in his heart. He found out when my mom was pregnant with my older brother. My dad was sick my entire life. He never complained. He died when I was 13. He showed me that we can live in that thin place where we feel like we experience a piece of Heaven often.

It happens daily. I get a glimpse of Heaven every time I watch my son. I was experiencing the thin place feeling the other day when I was outside playing in the snow with my 3 year old. He decided it would be fun to stand on the corner and wave at the cars driving by. He waved in expectation. He expected the people in the cars to wave back at him. I saw a lot of people smiling that day. I felt a lot of joy playing in the snow with my son.

I was lost in the significance of the moment. My son expected. I should expect more. I want to expect more from God. I expect him to wave back when I wave at him.

I experience that thin place often. I am blessed. I thank God for allowing me to experience Heaven in simple things.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i've had some random thoughts floating in my head. here, i write. i shall put everything into 3 points.

  1. Mazerick... hilarious, growing up, learning new things, figuring things out on his own. Yesterday, we went sledding. When we came in I helped him get all unbundled... We do that in the kitchen, so we don't drag snow through the house. Anyway, he was all unbundled before I was, so he came into the living room before me. He turned on the tv, got it on the right input, and turned on the wii. (this was a first) I heard the wii, but didn't figure he really knew what he was doing. All of a sudden I heard animal crossing. I could tell he was actually in the game, and he yelled... "Hey mom, i'm you!" I didn't mind so I let him play on my character. I didn't figure he was actually doing anything. He had rearranged my furniture in my house, and went to the city and bought a lawnmower out of Redds shop. These are all very complex things to complete. I was like, "Aw, I didn't want that lawn mower." And, he said, "Well, you got it anyway." Dude, my kid is growing up. He's funny.
  2. My thoughts on this blog... I write because my mind is cluttered. I like to write. It helps my mind unclutter a bit. Sometimes, I write pretty specific posts, but just know this... they are not meant for any one specific person. If they were, I would just talk to that person. Makes sense to me.
  3. God. Is. Good. So, the church that my family attends is great. It's been growing like mad, though, and I've been having these growing pains. Which is weird, because I grew up in a mega church. So, you'd think I would be used to it. Anyway, I just have been bogged down. But then yesterday, God spoke to me through his word. I LOVE the message! I felt like I got like a million nuggets from this one chapter last night. I've decided it's my life chapter for a while... It really helped me to put things into perspective.
Collosians 3~the message
1-2 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

5-8And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

9-11Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

12-14So, 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.

15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Monday, February 8, 2010


i am a people person. i've always been, but not to the same extent that i am today. in high school i was good with one really good friend from school. i was friends with a lot of other people, but there was one person that i always went to lunch with, we rode our bikes after school, and we hung out more than any other person i hung out with at school. i did have a lot of friends from church. i considered a lot of those friends to be good friends. but, since they weren't in my same school, the place i was every day, it was just a different kind of friendship. i am still friends with many of the same people today. good friends. but, you grow up. and, i would like to think that i have grown up in more ways than just the friend category.

i was sitting here thinking, "what ways have i changed since high school? what ways am i still the same? what ways have i changed a lot, and what ways do i wish i would have changed more in?"

i was very, very judgmental in high school. i was a good kid, and i expected everyone else to be a good kid. if they weren't i prayed for them. like that isn't pious? sure, praying for people is good, but i didn't really pray for them because i cared about them as a person.... i just prayed for them because they weren't "good like i was." that is bull crap. this is actually what made me start thinking about all of this. there was one person in particular that couldn't stand me in high school. he was friends with a lot of my friends, but refused to be my friend. i never understood it. i didn't care to much, because he was a "jerk." anyway, i just saw a picture of him... today, and thought... he still thinks of me that way. facebook is a funny thing. you see all of these people that you knew in high school, and possibly become friends with them on facebook. so, i figured... we've grown up. and i requested to be his friend. the dude still refuses. anyway. then i started becoming upset that he was still a "jerk," but what does that make me? the same judgmental person i was in high school? i hope not.

i did notice the other night that i have standards of sin i guess. like, it's okay to do some things, but not okay to do others. which, i know.... it totally doesn't make sense, especially when it's 2 very similar things. but, if i do one thing... what i would consider not a big deal, and then someone else does something very similar, but maybe changes the wording i get all like, "you need Jesus." which, we all do... i do, you do, no matter who.... they do. but, seriously... that's dumb. so, that's something i'm working on. and, i'm putting it out here for the world to see. i am working on being more like Jesus... in all ways... and i will not judge you... because that's not what Jesus wants. i'll try not to cringe when i hear certain words... i'll try not to say certain words... i'm trying here, smalls.

today i have a family of my own. how does having a family of your own change what kind of friend you are? it's harder to be good friends with people i think. i have this desire in me to be really really good friends with a lot of people. but, the thing is... my family will always be first. always. i still need good friends. i do. and, some of my good friends may not be best friends with everyone in my family, but it sure helps. it sure makes it a lot easier. yeah. not much more to say on this one.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

addictions and elephants

so, we went to a show last night at the river bank in south bend. playing were the rendition, whitecollarsideshow, and disciple. all good bands, but one really really really touched my heart. whitecollar... they were very artsy, and not something i would have thought that touched me as much as they did. not only was what they presented amazing, and something i'm passionate about as well, but after their show i was in the hallway and td (the lead singer) came and talked with me for about 15 minutes about our passions and how we have got to use them for God.

so, they talked about masks, and how we all wear them... we need to take them off, and be real before God and people. why do we, the church as a whole, try to skirt issues? i'm not pointing fingers or blaming at all, but speaking in generalities... it just seems like it's not something that is talked about.

addictions... things we replace God with... or put before God...

pornography, drugs, alcohol, video games, our kids...

oh my word... i'd never thought about it before... is it possible to put our kids before our relationship with Christ? most definitely! there's an importance to raising our kids in Christ, but we must remember to love him first... that hit me pretty good.

the one he talked about most was porn... do you realize the amount of porn that is viewed on the internet is more than any other single thing viewed? something like 47% of christian households have admitted to struggling with it... and that's just those that admitted with it! and, the other statistics are just outrageous. it's a very sad, but productive industry. the money that is made from porn is more than all of the huge industries added together... forbes, microsoft, and a few others. craziness! this is an issue that needs to be addressed, and people need to be made aware of it!

anyway, i'm glad that God is good, and that he's a God of forgiveness and grace! and freedom! aren't you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

irritations and what to do for them...

so, some minor irritations are a part of my life right now.

my laptop. it's awesome, but it's not connecting to the internet. minor irritation #1.

the library. it's great, but i just spent an hour and a half there working on the middle school lesson. i made it look awesome. it was great. i went to sent it, after saving it... and couldn't find it anywhere. so, the last 1 1/2 hour... wasted. irritation #2.

ummmmm.... i can't really think of any more irritations right now. i guess if it's just those 2 right now than life is pretty stinking great! God is good. i'm blessed :)

oh yeah, and it made it all better when i drove throught the drive through at mcdonalds and used my coupon for my free caramel frappe....