Dec 2, 2008

So bowling is a good sport for me

In the past couple of weeks, I've been bowling a couple of times. I've been candlepin bowling and regular bowling. And apparently it's a sport that comes naturally to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I went candlepin bowling with the staff of ECC. And, of the two games that we played, one of them I won, and the other I came in second. Overall, I scored more than any. Candlepin isn't easy either, it's a lot different than regular bowling.

Fast forward to this week, and I went bowling with my small group. It was in celebration of my time here, because I am leaving. So we went, and I had the best games of my life, along with my friend Zack. It was an exciting game and just because I can I want to share my scores (if you click on it, you should be able to see it better). The funnest part of the night was when Zack and I both bowled amazing games, the same game, with the same bowling ball. We are convinced that our ball was magic.

That was my fun night, and how I learned that bowling is a good sport for me. If you want to see pictures from the night, they are down in the "Where I've been" section on the right.

Nov 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Week + my Sermon

So I had a four thanksgiving dinners this past week. It all started a week ago with the Mahannahs. I went over there to enjoy a thanksgiving meal with their family. It was a wonderful meal with lots of food and about 5 or 6 different pies. I really enjoyed the night, even though most of the time my upcoming sermon the next morning. I got back later that night and ran over my sermon a couple of times.

The next morning I got up and was nervous like CRAZY about preaching. This was the first time that I have ever preached on a Sunday morning. The services went really well, the second service than the first. I had a great time doing it. Once I got on stage to start speaking, it just kind of flowed out. I'm so glad that I got a chance to do that. Everyone gave me good reviews of my sermon, so apparently it was decent. If you want to listen for yourself it's here:

That night was my second of 4 thanksgiving dinners. It was a potluck thanks giving dinner, which means there was lots and lots of good food to be had. It was a fun time to hang out with my small group from church.

The next thanksgiving dinner was on wednesday night. I ate thanksgiving dinner with the family that I'm living with. I was another traditional thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins. I stuffed myself with lots of food. It was wonderful, although, there was not pumpkin pie that night.

My last thanksgiving meal was back with the mahannahs on thanksgiving day. We ate ham, since we already had turkey. Then I ate 4 pieces of pie that night. Then I stayed up late that night to play video games with Chris and Ryan. I stayed for the next day and played more video games. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday and getting all of my school work done for my internship.

Nov 11, 2008

Retreat Number 2 (Middle School Remix)

So this weekend, we had the middle school retreat. As far as craziness goes, the weekend was a lot less exciting. We didn't loose any keys and we didn't have any serious injuries. Despite this lack of craziness, we had a great weekend.

We went to the same place for the retreat, Camp Berea in NH. I will certainly miss that place, because of the beautiful view. It's one of those views that is beautiful no matter what kind of weather it is.

For the most part we did all of the same basic things that we did last weekend, only this time with middle schoolers. It was a fun time, and I think I laughed a whole lot more. The middle school students are a handful, but are definitely fun and funny.

We had lots of great times with carpet ball tournaments, knock out competitions, and two-hand touch football in the rain. Thankfully, it was relatively warm this weekend (I know, Maine warm in November, crazy) because I soaked my shoes and only had flip flops for the rest of the weekend.

This weekend I also had a chance to teach during the retreat. It was a great experience, mostly because everything you say stirs up questions among the students, and they really want to share. We focused on what it means to change the world from the inside out. It was a great weekend. Retreats wear you out, but it is well worth it to spend the weekend with awesome students.

There are now pictures from both retreats on my Picasa account (see where I've been section on the right).

Nov 3, 2008

Retreat Number 1

This weekend was, as the locals say, a wicked crazy weekend. On Friday, we began our trek to Camp Berea in Hebron, NH. We drove for a few hours when we stopped at McDonald's for Dinner. While there we lost the keys to one of the vehicles. So we looked for keys for around an hour, and we didn't find them. So we packed up the stuff in other vans and left the suburban there.

Eventaully, we wond up at Camp Berea (also after getting lost due to faulty directions). We had a great night there settled down and got ready for a crazy weekend.

The next morning was pretty normal. Actually, the morning itself was beautiful. There was a beautiful sunrise over the hills across the lake from where we were. We had a worship service and then a lesson time. I taught about the Bible and the reliability of the scriptures. The class went really well, even though I felt like I bored the kids to death, they seemed to enjoy it however.

That afternoon we did a challenge course.
It was a good time, the hardest part was trying to cross the tight rope wire. It took my group a while, but we had a great time doing the tight rope. We also did a thing where we balanced on a wooden raft thing, but that wasn't as hard as the wire.

It was a great time. That afternoon I played football with the guys and the missionary/speaker for the weekend proved to be a great quarterback. He lead us to victory.

We practiced for the worship service that night, I played drums that weekend. The worship service that night went really well. Afterwards, we had the first ever Fusion olympics. It was hilarious for most of it We had fencing with noodles, we had 3 legged races, discus throwing with their mouths, and weight lifting with chairs. It was a really great night. The only bad part was when one of the students tried to flip and gave himself a concussion on the concrete floor. That was a rough end of the night.

Luckly, the student was ok. The rest of the retreat was pretty uneventful. After getting back from the retreat, I had to lead middle school fusion. Which, even though I was tired, was fun. We played dodge ball for a while. Then Chris, one of the Seniors, gave a lesson and did a great job.

That was my wicked crazy weekend. Hopefully the next weekend (the middle school retreat) will be just as fun but with less complications.

Oct 28, 2008

Small Group and Memories of Mexico

Small group tonight was great. We had a great discussion on doing stuff because you want to versus doing stuff because you know it's good for you. It was a great discussion of why we do this whole God thing. Why do we come to church and to small group? Why are we doing religion? Is it because we really want to, or is it because we think God will smite us if we don't?

The idea is that we should really desire that relationship with God, we should really want God and love God with everything instead of just being afraid of what he will do if we don't. As an illustration, Andy (the small group leader) used Psalm 42 as a picture of what it should look like for us to long for God. It should look like us thirsting for God just like a deer thirsts for water.

And here's my crazy tie in / awesome illustration for how we thirst for God. As Andy read from Psalm 42, I began to think about times when I really thirst for water versus times that I really need water. I began to think about my trip to Mexico when I was in high school. I went to Mexico with my home church (Traders Point Christian Church), and we worked on houses there.
We were told time and time again to drink water, and there were times where I was really thirsty. There were also times that I wasn't thirsty when I drank water anyways. This was because we don't always know when we need water, but we do need it. Just like God. We know that we need him and often thirst for him, but we don't always know that we are thirsty, so we should drink anyway. So the lesson for the day is to drink up, both out of deep love for God and out of the desire to stay spiritually healthy.

Oct 25, 2008

My Week with Lindsay (and a day with my dad)

Well, like I said in my last post, Lindsay was out here this week. After Monday, we just spent some time in the area. On Tuesday Night, we went to my small group. There we had dinner and fun times. Lindsay got to meet all the people that I have hung out with since I've been here. It's was a fun night with lots of laughter. They really seemed to like Lindsay, which makes me happy.

Wednesday we went over to the mall. We also went to Borders. We spent some time at Borders reading. Linds read some cooking magazines while I read a book called Blink and Jesus Wants to Save Christians. After that we went out to eat at a place that Lindsay was begging me to eat at. She wanted to eat at Costa Vida. It's a great place and if you are in Maine or somewhere out west, then you should find one and go there.

Thursday was an adventure. My dad met us at EastPointe and we went out exploring that afternoon. We saw four lighthouses on the coast (plus two from a distance on islands and one that doesn't work any more). We spent all afternoon traveling down the coast and looking at the lighthouses. It was a great afternoon with my fiancee and my dad. We ended the evening at the Lobster Shack and got some real seafood. My dad spent the night and then went back to New Hampshire to teach for a retreat.

Friday, Linds and I relaxed and worked on some homework. We watched Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the Crystal skull. It was a nice relaxing end to the week.

Finally on Saturday I took Linds to they airport and she went home.
And that was my week with my fiancee and the day with my dad.

I've updated my picture albums, so there are more in the New England Adventures album and there's an album for Lindsay's trip.

Oct 21, 2008

A Weekend with Lindsay.

On Saturday I got up, I drove down to Manchester, NH and picked up Lindsay from the airport. Since then, Linds and I have done a lot.

On the way back up from Manchester, we stopped first at Goldenrod for ice cream. Then, from there we went up to Kittery, ME and wandered around the outlet stores. We also stopped at Stonewall Kitchen in York, ME. There, we tried all of the jams, dips, salsas, and sauces that they had out. We also bought some Chipotle Pineapple Salsa. It is wonderful. Then we spent the evening at home watching the Sox beat the Rays in game 6.

Sunday, I had to work. I helped in e-kids again. It was a little crazy this week. Then Linds and I went out to Wendy's with some of my friends here. I spent the afternoon preparing for Fusion. This was the first time that I led Fusion all by myself. Jared was out for the weekend, so I was left in charge (I know, it's a scary thought). So I taught the High School students, and left the middle school leaders to run fusion without me for the first time. The night went well. We had the most total amount of students that we have ever had. Then Linds and I went home and watched the Sox lose in game 7. Who would have guessed that the Rays and the Phillies would go to the world series?

Monday, I got the day off and Linds and I went to Freeport, ME, the home of L.L. Bean. It was a beautiful day. We wondered around all the outlets and treated ourselves to some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I also found a nice coat at the Timberland outlet for over half off the original price, that made me happy.

We also wondered around the Old Port area of Portland. It's a nice little area with old buildings and lots of quaint little shops. It is also right on the water front. It was a nice day. That's been our trip so far. We'll see what the rest of the week has in store for us.

Oct 15, 2008

It's about time for an update.

Well, here's the long and short of what's been happening:
Saturday, I enjoyed a nice day out. I went with two students out to a soccer game. We enjoyed beautiful day and some awesome scenery. The field overlooked the Back Cove, and on the other side of the cove was the city of Portland. It really was a great view.
We watch the two students from the youth ministry play soccer. Unfortunately, the game ended in a tie. It was a good day, nonetheless.
That evening, I helped take a group of middle school students down to a corn maze. Surprisingly enough, this was my first time in a corn maze. It was a great time, even though my group was lost for about 45 minutes. It was a fun time of walking around in circles.

Sunday was my second week in a row helping with e-kids. Children's ministry really is a different experience from youth ministry. We talked about Jonah (or as the New Englanders like to say it "Joner"). Then Sunday night was another great night in middle school fusion. For the first week, someone else gave the lesson, which was nice, I didn't have to prepare the lesson. I helped lead the games. Next week, however, I'm covering for Jared in High School Fusion. After fusion, we had a dodge ball for the high school guys. It was a great time that has still left me sore.

Monday, I celebrated Columbus day. It is a much bigger holiday out here in New England. Some students had a four day weekend because of the holiday. It's so big because it's the last chance that some people get to go camping. I went over to a friends for a cook out and for flag football.

It was a great holiday weekend. This weekend, however, I'm looking forward to a guest. Lindsay comes out this Saturday and I can't wait to see her.

Oct 9, 2008

New England in the Fall

Well, I haven't been out sight seeing recently, but it's not hard to see the beauty of creation here in Maine. All I have to do is to drive to work and see the beautiful colors of the fall. Everyday there are more and more colors in the trees. So, I thought I would share the color with everyone not here to see it and for my friends in Miami who won't experience the fall because of a warmer climate. I took both of these pictures on my way to work a few days ago. Enjoy.

I've also put some more pictures in my New England Adventures album.

Oct 6, 2008

The Hoedown

This weekend the church had an interesting event. It was the Hill-Billy Hoedown. I must say that I haven't participated in an event like this before. It was an event with food, dancing, and hill-billy games. And of course, everyone was dressed up. Most people wore flannel. It was a great time of just hanging out and having a great time.

The church hired a professional square dance caller. So, I learned to square dance and line dance. It certainly was quite the experience, and also quite the work out. Though, some of the dances were a lot harder than I thought.

The funniest part of the night was that a lot of people assumed that I would be the expert on hill-billies, being that I am from the Midwest. They also assume that I am an expert on corn and farming, too. It's also funny to see what they think of people from the Midwest. I think they confuse farmers, red necks, and hill-billies, and assume that they are a lot a like.

Like I said, we also had some games. The games were pretty good. We had a donut eating contest and seed spitting contest. On top of the games, there was a lot of country music. It was a great time.

Sep 28, 2008

Another weekend, more youth ministry.

Nothing too exciting this week. Just another week of youth ministry. Here's my weekend:

Friday was the birthday of the twin boys of the family that I am living with. I enjoyed a birthday lunch with the family and then relaxed for a few hours. Probably the highlight of my weekend was spending my Friday afternoon hanging with one of the 8th grade guys from my d-group. We went to the mall and walked around for a couple of hours. It was such a great time to get to know one of the students. We had a great time just wandering around and talking about life and his interests. That evening I came back and played monopoly with some of the high school students. We played teams and my team ended up selling everything that we had to another team to crush the team that was winning.

Saturday, I spent the morning helping Jared, the youth minister, move some couches to the church for the youth area. Unfortunately for us, they were both hide-a-beds, the heaviest couches known to men. We got that done and then I enjoyed the afternoon off. Then that evening, there was a dinner for high school students at Jared's house.

Sunday, surprisingly, was an easy day for me, because I didn't teach for middle school fusion. We had a joined service tonight and I didn't really have much responsibility. So I just hung out with students. Then I topped the evening off with gas at $3.37/gallon at seven-eleven (oh thank heaven).

That was my weekend. Tomorrow will be a long day, and next saturday I have a hoe-down to look forward to. I'll be sure to have pictures of that.

Sep 24, 2008

A few things that I've never seen in Indianapolis.

Last night, instead of having small group we did something a little bit different. We went out to see a baptism on at the ocean. It was a little bit cold, and I didn't even get into the water. It was really cold for the two the went out into the water. It was really awesome though to see a baptism right there in God's creation. Aside from a little bit of cold is was a beautiful night there on the beach. It was a really cool experience, and definitely one that can't happen quite like that in the midwest.

This morning, I also had an experience that I've not had growing up in Indianapolis. This morning there were wild turkey wondering around outside my apartment. I know that's not really important, but I found it amusing. So I thought that I'd share.

Oh, by the way, I'm putting pictures from last night online, just scroll down to the spot on the right hand side of the blog where it says, "Where have I been?" They'll be there.

Sep 21, 2008

Middle Schoolers and Seven-Eleven.

No, I didn't take Middle School students down to the seven-eleven, but those were both the highlights of my day.

Today is Sunday, which for me is a day at "the office." Only my office on Sunday is a former karate studio packed with middle school students. Now that's awesome. Every Sunday, I help lead the Middle School part of the Sunday night Fusion service as a part of the Student Ministries at EastPointe Christian Church. So, from 6-7:30pm every Sunday night it's me, 3 other awesome leaders, and 25 students hanging out in the E-kids room. Tonight was an awesome night, and really energized me.

Each Sunday consists of games and then a lesson. Tonight we played elbow tag and shuffle your buns, and our lesson was on the first of the five purposes. We talked about Shining the Light of Jesus. The big idea of the lesson was that we evangelize because God cares for people wants them to be saved. God made us, he loves us, and he wants us to have a relationship with us. That is why he wants Christians to spread the good news of Jesus. Because of love. And that was my lesson. The night went really well. The students asked lots of questions and participated really well. It's nights like these that make me love youth ministry. I hope that I was as awesome as these middle schoolers when I was their age.

Then after that, I found out that the Colts lost, sad. Then I left, and went to fill up my car. This is where Seven-Eleven comes in. Recently, I discovered that the seven-eleven by the church drops its price for Sundays. So, thanks to seven-eleven, my evening ended with cheap (sort-of) gas at 3.50 a gallon.

This was my Sunday, and will probably be what a typical Sunday is like for me for a while. I just hope all the Fusions are close to being this good.

Sep 19, 2008

It's been a long, but great week.

Like I said at the end of the last post, my Monday began with taking Rondel to the airport at 4:00 am. That was quite the experience. It took me about an hour round trip to go pick up Rondel from Jared's, take him to the airport, and then go back home and sleep. This was the first of many busy days this week. Monday wasn't too exciting at the office, and actually most days really aren't that exciting. They are productive, but not really exciting. That evening, though, I had a great time helping David, one of the two high school guys I live with, find cleats. This was fun because it is really hard to find cleats a third of the way through the soccer season. Most of the shoes that he wanted were sold out. Eventually, he found some. The best part was, however, just hanging out and talking soccer with him.
On Tuesday, I went to small group. There is a small group at EastPointe for college age/20 somethings. I found out about this group by accident, but love the fact that I am able to participate in a small group. The group is called "Live 4:12" (live as in "I live" not as in "This is a live broadcast) from 1 Tim 4:12 (setting an example for the believers in speech, life, love, and faith, and purity). It's a great group, and we have a great time every week. Next week, we're going down to the beach to see a baptism, so I'll probably have some pictures from that.
Wednesday is my d-group night. We rapped up our discussion of evangelism this week. We talked about how we can use our testimonies to share our faith. As a part of that we talked about a really cool thing called cardboard testimonies. I challenged the guys to think about what they could right on a piece of cardboard that would be able to tell people how God has made a difference in their lives.
Thursday and Friday were once again game nights. Thursday, I saw the Windham Eagles beat the Gorham Rams 1-0 in soccer for the first time in 5 years, and learned that I need to buy long underwear. The nights have consistently been in the 40's and one night was supposed to dip into the 30's. And Friday I saw Scarborough get beat in football. I was really there to hang out with Middle School students. I found out that in Scarborough, the football game is the place for the middle school students to hang out on friday nights. It certainly was an interesting experience just to hang out with a bunch of middle schoolers.
This has been a long week, with something to do every night of the week, but it's been fun. I am, however, going to enjoy Saturday.

Sep 15, 2008

A visitor from the Midwest.

This weekend was great, and long. Saturday started with a birthday party for one of the high school students. That was a fun time. Water balloons and lots o' cake make for a good time. The highlight of the weekend was, however, Rondel, my youth ministry professor, coming to visit.
Rondel got in a little later than expected because of a storm in Detroit. I picked him up from the Jetport and began the short tour of the Greater Portland Area. It started at the Portland Head Light. Unfortunately, it was a foggy, foggy day. You couldn't see very far out into the ocean, or the lighthouse from far away. It was cool though. It's always great to get out and see nature and lighthouses. From there we made our way farther down the coast to the Lobster Shack at the Two Lights Lighthouse. It was a real taste of sea food and New England culture, though I hear its a little more touristy than a local favorite. Still, it's good food, it's right on the ocean, and is next to a lighthouse. We had a great time there and got a really good chance to talk about how my internship was going.
From there we drove through the Old Port in Portland. This is a really cool area that I'd like to go back and see in the daylight. It's one of the older parts of Portland and some of the streets still have the cobble stone streets. There's old buildings and cool architecture. Though, it's kind of like the French Quarter of New Orleans, a lot of bars. It's not a place you want to walk around at night.
Sunday morning we had church, and I had my first experience working in E-kids. It was a good experience, the kids were, for the most part well behaved, and I really didn't have to do a whole lot. I was just a glorified helper. From there I went to second service and then to the parents luncheon for the youth ministry parents. Unfortunately, the Dominoes guy was 15 minutes late. We still got our food though. It was good meeting and nice chance to get to know some of the parents.
After that, Rondel and I made a sprint up to Freeport to see L.L. Bean. We perused the selection, and then decided that the "outlet" was a better idea than the "retail" store because of the lower prices. And, when he asked the cashier why the prices were lower at this store as opposed to the store less than 100 yds away, she said, "because we're the outlet store and not the retail store." After that, we made a mad dash back to ECC to get ready for Fusion.
Fusion went really well, though while teaching the Middle School students, it looked like some of them had slipped into a coma. I think they were really listening though. It was a great night, and Middle school students are definitely more fun to play games with. We ended the night at D'Angelos sandwich shop and then I took Rondel to the airport at 4:30am.

It was a long, but good weekend. I can't wait for more people to come visit.

Sep 12, 2008

Football and Futbol.

Well, school is in full swing out here in Maine and that means it's time for sports. Yesterday I went to Westbrook High School and watched the Freshman Blue Blazes. Jared, my field mentor, is the assistant coach at Westbrook. It was a good game to watch. I felt bad for the freshman, 2 of whom go to EastPointe, because the score was 46-8. If the first quarter could be thrown out, however, the score would be 16-8. It was a good time, and the two kids from the youth ministry did well, but it was kind of a rough game.

Tonight it was soccer at Windham High School. I was planning on going to Scarborough, but turns out that game was away and over an hour away. So I went with the family I went with to the boys' soccer game. It was a great game, and really close the whole time. If it weren't for one pk, it would have been even closer. Windham lost 2-0, but played well. It really made me miss playing soccer. Maybe, if my future wife will let me, I will play next year. I still have years of eligibility left.

While at the soccer game I also learned a few things about Maine. 1: The temperature swing from day to evening is a lot bigger than in the Midwest. It's been in the 70's during the day, but it will dip down to the 40's at night. Lesson learned is: always have warmer clothes for the evening. 2: I need to get a rain coat, a warm rain coat. Because of the swing in temperature, when it rains at night, it gets a little colder. Thankfully, I was warm enough tonight during the game, but in the future, it probably won't be good enough. Basically, the moral of the story, is when in Maine be prepared for cold.

This weekend, Rondel, my youth ministry professor, is coming to visit. So there should be some interesting stories from this weekend.

Sep 11, 2008

because you know you want to know what interns do.

I am just about to rap up my first week of regularly scheduled ministry. I am sure that some of you want to know what I've been up to, so now is the time to find out.
Last weekend was awesome. It was one of the craziest weekends I have ever had. I went on a retreat with 6 awesome high school students and Jared (the youth minister) and Rachel (his wife). We went camping in Conway, NH in the shadow the white mountains. During the retreat Jared took us to Mt. Chocorua and we went on a hike up to the top. So far this is a pretty normal experience. I have been camping before. I haven't actually hiked a mountain, so that was a first, but I've seen mountains before. So mountains are not a new thing to me.

I didn't realize how hard it was really to hike up a mountain. I am certainly not in the type of shape that it requires to do that again. I need to work-out before I do that again. Eventually however, we made it to the top, and it was amazing.
The real adventure was on the way down. We began to come down, and the first hard part was finding the trail again in the fog (I say fog, but that far up it's really cloud). We found the trail and began to descend the mountain. Except, when we were about 1.4 mile from the top, we realized we took the wrong trail about 1 mile back. So we went back. It was either this or come down on the wrong side of the mountain. So we went back up and found the trail we were supposed to be on. On the way back up it began raining. This was TS Hanna coming to join the party. Hanna began pouring down on us like crazy. Long story short, we finally made it down, in the dark, in the rain, about 5.5 hours after we had started. It was quite the experience and I'm glad to have been apart of it. More Pictures from Elevate Retreat

The Sunday that we came back, Fusion started. Fusion is the Sunday night service for Middle School and High School. I am leading the Middle School this semester and they are a great group of kids. We played ping pool and the classic balloon stomp. Ping pool (blowing ping pong balls into cups taped to the table like pool pockets) turned into students dizzy from blowing so hard so fast. From there we gathered the students and Jared welcomed them to fusion and told them what it was all about. After Fusion, I took two students home and watched the Colts game with them. They had lived in Indy for a few years, and their dad had season tix to for the Colts while he lived there. We were all disappointed to watch the Colts lose to da bears. But I had a great time with the Rossiters and especially since their son Colton is in my d-group.

Wednesday, we had our first d-group. I was a expecting more than I got, but the group that I got was awesome. 3 really solid guys. They participated well and I enjoyed getting to know them and I am sure I will have lots of fun getting to know them and hang out with them in the future. We talked about what we need to do to "Shine the Light of Jesus." This is the first of the 5 different pieces of a Christian's identity that we will talk about.

That's all for now, I'll try to post regularly (at least once a week) so that those outside of Maine can know what's going on.