Friday, July 21, 2006

In between

I'm currently sitting at a Panera bread store, waiting for the Green Hills Mall to be open. Who knew that the mall didn't open until 10:00 am? Ridiculous. I'm waiting to take my ipod to the Apple store. It's giving me the poopy face, you know, the one with a ipod that has x's for eyes, and I'm hoping to have it fixed. Anyway, here I sit.

I'm in between mission trips. The trip to The Duvall Home went really well. I think I'd forgotten how exhausting mission trips can be. It's such a different climate than Montreat or camp. I was really proud of the way our youth handled themselves while they were there. We encountered some difficulties along the way, and the youth of Harpeth stepped up with maturity and grace. I also owe a huge thanks to Ruth Knab, Jennifer Bent, Carrie Jones, and James Peeler for giving a week of their time to be chaperones for the trip.

Next week, I'll be in Atlanta with our middle school youth. We'll be joining up with two other churches where John Weicher and Shelli Latham are the Associate Pastors. It should be a great week.

Friday, July 07, 2006

On the road again

Yes, I'm about to leave on another trip. This time, I'll be traveling to The Duvall Home in Glenwood, FL for the Harpeth Presbyterian Church Sr. High mission trip. This will be the first time I take this group on a long trip. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit nervous. My first trip with a new group always makes me nervous. So many what ifs run through my brain:What if I forget something really important? What if I ignore a sacred ritual? What if its the worst trip ever and nobody ever comes back to youth group? What if someone gets injured? What if? What if? What if? It's times like these that I have to take a deep breath and do my best to let it go and trust that God is in control. It really has nothing to do with me, after all. But still....I worry. :)

This evening, after we load up our vans and uhaul trailer, I'm going to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie with some of the youth. Here's a picture from a year ago when I was at Montreat.

I wore that pirate hat around for an entire day, and talked like a pirate a lot, too. As you can see, I was pretty menacing with my hook. I think I forced some people to walk the plank, too. My good friend Ashley Lamar got a big kick out of looking over and seeing me work with that hat on. Ah, Ashley...what a good guy. I miss him. Anybody who's close enough to give him a hug, please give him a big one for me.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Montreat West...Friday

It's Friday night, around 1:00 am, and I should probably be climbing into bed for a much needed rest, but my brain is kind of racing, so I thought I'd finish up my week of blogging from Montreat West. First of all, here are some pictures:

This is Jeffrey, Rex, and I at the last rec event. These two guys are cool cats. Jeffrey was the music leader, and he did a fantastic job. I loved his theme song. He goes to school at Belmont, so he and I will definitely be hanging out. As for Rex, well, he's the mack I always wished I was. :)

Laurie and I...Man, where to start? I had an absolutely wonderful time hanging out with Laurie this week. She is such an intelligent, insightful, beautiful, thoughtful, fun, talented, funny, amazing woman. I don't think I realized how much I missed her until we had this chance to be with each other everyday. John Weicher, you are a lucky man. For what it's worth, I think she is gonna be one rock star of a co-director at Montreat West next summer. I am extremetly grateful to God for friends like Laurie.

Some girls from FPC Columbia, MO and Alan. These girls were part of the crew that made the trek out here from Columbia, MO, my hometown. It was so great to reconnect with some and meet some new members of the church that is so close to my heart. There's just something about making connections with people who are from your hometown. Somehow, I feel like there's a certain level of automatic understanding and respect. It's so great to see that the youth program back home is going so well. Big props to Nathan and Morgan See, and Jeff and Lori Fox for bringing them out here, and for being important adults in their lives back home.

Cindy Edwards (the keynoter) and I. This woman is absolutely amazing. She brought so much creativity to the keynotes. I guess I'll overlook the fact that she had me dressed as a woman three days out of five. :) It was a real honor and pleasure to share the stage with someone so fun and insightful. I'm hoping the youth who were here will take Cindy's words, skits, videos, and challenges back home and make a difference in the lives of those around them.

OK, I think my brain has slowed down enough for me to turn it in for the night. This was a great week at Montreat West. I feel rejuvenated and excited. I feel convicted to get off my duff and do some transformative work in my community. I feel excited about taking some youth to Memphis to help J. Herbert in his endeavors. I feel exhausted in a way that only happens at youth conferences and on mission trips. I feel nervous about preaching on Sunday. I feel gratitude for new friends that I've made. I feel inspired to get back home and cross boundaries.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.