It’s been 2 whole months since I posted anything on this blog! Yikes – for me, blogging is a quasi-spiritual discipline for three reasons, it forces slow down and reflection, it allows me to review myself and my input/output cycles and it gives an ‘on-demand’ structure to my growth (structure when I feel like I need it).
So, I’ve got a stack of books here to blog on, but I thought I’d give a blow-by-blow of my summer first, some cool stuff has been in my life and it’s fun.
- June 12&20: I went to a bunch of grad parties. They were pretty fun as they were the last kids who went through the invert program (a spiritual development class for freshmen) when I was a youth pastor. For a long time I have been wrestling with the difference between the resources poured into the way the evangelical/western church does youth ministry and the results, especially the lack of continuing faith in young adults. Invert was our attempt to find better ways of making real live radical Christians for life.
- June 20: I preached on the stoning of Stephen. like 70 verses. it was insane!
- June 29: We got family pictures done by our friend Melissa (WEBSITE). They turned out so fun. I love them because they remind me over and over of how awesome our little family is, and I don’t mean in comparison to your family, I mean our family is awesome because they are “us” and I like that (for the record your family is probably awesome to, because they are “you”).
- July 2: Our 11th anniversary. We went up to Portland and stayed at a swanky hotel from priceline. It was a lot of fun. It’s easy when you marry someone fun! We went out and walked and went to powell’s books too. It was perfect.
- July 17: I got to do the wedding of my friends Evan and Chelsea. I really like them. They have that rebellious streak that Jesus can do really really dangerous stuff with, and they believe in themselves as much as Jesus believes in them.
- July 19-22: Our annual conference for churches in our denomination in Oregon and Washington. Since I was ordained last year, I got to sit in the regular seats and vote and stuff. There was one hilarious vote in which 2 of us voted no and every other person in the room voted yes. It was classic. This was an encouraging bunch of meetings, even though I had to take a couple breaks and walk around – sitting through 4 days of meetings is hard on my noggin. It’s fun to reconnect with other leaders and to share and encourage each other. God is doing some really fun stuff in our little corner of the world. Also, I got voted onto the Board of Church Extension, so I get to help with new church planting and i was asked to serve on the Ways and Means committee, which means I now know where the money comes from and where it goes for our denominational group.
- July 26-30: The Grove hosted it’s Day Camp this week, on site at the middle school where we meet. It was an encouraging week, while being an extremely busy week too. I liked seeing new Grovers connecting and serving together, and the kids were a riot. I got to do the teaching parts of the daily chapel service. Teaching 8 year olds for 7 minutes is wildly challenging.
- August 1-6: I got to be the main session speaker at our high school camp for our churches in Oregon and Washington. It was a super blast. The kids have so much passion, and many of them are really working on letting Jesus guide their lives. I got to challenge them in new and interesting ways. It was also nice to have large blocks of time for studying in such a beautiful place as Triangle Lake. And, to have large chunks of time to talk ministry and life with so many young leaders. And, lastly and most painfully, I learned to wakeskate (wakeboarding without any bindings, basically being dragged behind a boat on a piece of wood!), which was amazing. I did a little jump and then tried to spin but ended up facing completely backwards and being dragged along…every muscle in my upper body was sore – that’s how much fun it was.
- August 9: Had my best softball game every. Scored every time up to bat, got to play two innings of third base, threw two guys out, almost threw out a guy at first on a grounder to right field and pitched an inning, which included a strikeout! I’m ready for the bigs!