Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Planning Ahead Games

After many years of youth ministry I have learned and played many games. I have also gotten a little lazy in picking the games. Maybe you can relate with me that as I am walking into youth group thinking what games we should play.  (Everything else is planned but just not the games) Recently i had a chance to I talk with a few of our youth and their parents they tell me how fun youth group is. I don't know how you set up your games but for us it is 1/3 of the time of youth group. (Announcements, worship, lesson and small group fill up the remaining 2/3. So I decided to go through our game books and websites and set up a game rotation so we don't just play dodge ball or kickball every week.

Feel free to take use and modify. We all do it, so here is my contribution. If you want a digital copy I will be willing to email it to you. Let me know by emailing me at Here is our list:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The heavenly Draft

This last weekend was the NFL draft. I was glued to the NFL13 draft app. I watched when my team (49ners) drafted and as I was watching I kept thinking about how this is the big boys fantasy draft. I also was thinking about how the teams would try to try and find the best players to fit what the team needed. They would pick these players with high hopes of what the future will hold. These kids have high hopes and high expectations of how they will do in the NFL. My thoughts quickly went to the promise of Heaven. (Colossians 1:27); In heaven there will be no tears and no more death.  (Revelation 21:4)  As I am excited about my team and the potential this season; I get even more excited about the promise of my eternal home. One day I am excited to hear Jesus call my name for the Heavenly Draft. If you would like more information about heaven comment on this post. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April-May Series'

I try to plan out messages in about a three year cycle. (But it isn't a law we have to stay with those ones.) With the tragic stuff going on in the world and with recent things that happened in our community; I had picked a few series, months ago, and it is a God thing how well they gel together.

Elevate/Launch (wednesday night jr/sr high)
We are going through the movie To Save a Life and talking about some of the issues that this movie brings up. I perposly picked to do this at the end of the year so our new jr highers were more mature and were able to discuss these tough topics. I ordered a book to go through but it didn't get here early enough so I used the website FCA bible studies, and then used Youtube to watch the videos to illustrate the scene.
Bonus one to put a lesson together is this one

Impact (sunday morning first service)
To save time and energy we have decided to take the topic on Wednesday night and put a twist onto it. We are taking the topic that we learned and look at another scriptures with a different message. It has been a really good study for us to talk about in a deeper way. These topics are that important to talk about again. If you interested in knowing our questions email me at

Fusion (sunday morning second service)
We are going through the book of Habakkuk. Speaking on prayer and dealing with hard times. We took the series from and worked it out to be our own.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Grief and Relief

 Just recently a student in our ministry lost their life. When dealing with a loss there is not a right or wrong response. As I looked at this student’s Facebook page there were many kind words about this student. There were also some others that didn’t know how to respond and they said stuff like “I didn’t know you but…” or “I wish I would have said something.” Then the polar opposite side of the spectrum some people get angry and don't understand. None of those responses were wrong. The problem comes when someone acts out inappropriately then not reconciling after going to far.

The creators of Facebook have made a network for people to voice how they are feeling. Now I know that some people share stuff on Facebook that are or can be inappropriate. Now in this case it is a great way for those who are morning to heal.

The cycle of grief (see link below to know the cycle) doesn’t discriminate for people that knew the person or not. So when someone posts about how they feel about the situation or they were close. To them they felt close. It isn’t our place to know how they feel or how well they knew the person. So when you see someone that is hurting from a loss be gracious to them. Support them where they are at in the grief process and identifying it will help you know how to respond better. If you don’t know how to help, the best way to help them is to listen, continue to be there for them and pray with them.

Avoid saying things like, "I know how you feel." or any cliche sayings that you have heard on a movie or read in a book. Also don't avoid them, and try to make them feel better. Grief is a natural process that if not gone through properly will result in more hurt and deep wounds. Being present and being available is a huge blessing for that person.You don't have to have the answers but you can point them to God. The creator of the universe wants to hear from them. In whatever stage they are in.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Good Friday 2013 Awaken

WOW, it has been along time since I have blogged! Well I have many things on my mind and wanted to get them off so I hope to spend some more time sharing thoughts that I have about life and ministry.

Here is our Good friday outline and messages this year. We had thought about what to do and the disciples falling asleep stood out to us. So feel free to take what you like and share it. The Childrens pastor and I team taught this.

5pm worship team arrives
6:30pm service Starts
Key verses: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14 Disciples falling asleep; Luke 22:40-45 asleep from exhaustion

Opening Song: Heart of Worship

Read Passage: Luke 22:39-46

What causes you to fall asleep?
Intro: Are you tired? Do you need be awaken? Could you use a shot of Christ caffeine? (Odd# Bill, Even# Jon)
1)   Are you weary that your prayers are not being answered?
2)   Are you tired of picking up cheerios for the 100th time?
3)   Are you exhausted of your expectations being unmet?
4)   Are you giving up on the fight of sin?
5)   Are you tired of your job demands?
6)   Are you weary of things not going right?
7)   Are you exhausted of worry for your kids?
8)   Are you tired of not having all the answers?
9)   Are you weary knowing that the mountain of laundry is only getting bigger?
10)                  Are you exhausted with dealing with your physical pain?
11)                  Are you burned out fighting your addiction?
12)                  Are you tired of the not being good enough?
13)                  Are you wearing of not measuring up to the task?
14)                  Are you tired being alone. 

Bill: Tonight we are going to look at a familiar passage of when the disciples struggled to stay awake and pray to God.  We invite you to case these questions on Christ and relax and breath in God.

Jon: Are you exhausted in Sorrow?
Luke 22:40-46
On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Question: Christ was exhausted. He fell down and prayed.  Are you exhausted from sorrow? Are you tired and sad of being sad and tired?

Medically when someone is tired their muscles are in the mode of shutting down, They are fatigued and they want to quit and the brain is still active but when you are able to shut your brain off you can sleep. The problem lies with sorrow you are constantly thinking about the loss. That might look like, a loss of a close friend, loss of a job or something important to you, loss of a loved one.  I don’t know your sorrow or your pain but we do know one that does. He knows even better than you do.

The dictionary definition of sorrow is: deep distress, sadness, or regret especially for the loss of someone or something loved
Are you overcome by Sorrow
We should pray that we don’t be overcome from Sorrow. Pray to realign yourself and allow God to be the place of importance.
The disciples were sorrowful. Christ had told them that the person that they had given up everything to follow was going to go to leave them.  He told Peter he was going to disown him three times. And That Judas was going to betray him.
They were in deep distress.
But when we let it become greater than God we are misaligned and because of that we can fall into temptation.

Pray so that you are not overcome from Sorrow.

We can give us our important stuff and he will take care of it for us. He will trade those sorrows for Joy of the lord.

Song: Trading my sorrows

Bill: Matthew says because there eyes were heavy… Physical?
            Spirit is willing but the body is weak
Mark 14:40
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

In our story of the garden we see that the disciple’s eyes were heavy so they fell asleep. Jesus said that their bodies were weak. They were tired they had a long day well really they had a long week. It started out high with the triumphal entry then constant coming and going then this low of Christ talking about leaving them.

In Mark 14:27-31
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered.’[
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice[b] you yourself will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Jesus had been talking about how he would have to die. The disciples all expressed how they were going to hold fast to Jesus even to death. The truth is they were going to do this on their own power and by falling asleep they were showing their lack of dependence.

We can imagine how they must have felt. It seemed like they had so much to do with an uncertain future.

How often do you feel like all that is before you is more than you can handle and your future is uncertain?

You have work, family, church and any other commitments that the you have taken on and it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day. You feel like you are doing nothing well and you carry around guilt and you just tired.

Your friends say to you, “are you ok?” and you say I’m just tired.

If you are feeling this way chances are you have taken everything upon yourself.

The disciples’ statement in verse 31 reeks of self-sufficiency. There is now doubt that they earnestly desired to not fall away but on their own power they would not only fall away but they couldn’t even stay awake.

Their purpose in coming to the garden was to pray but they had given up on prayer and fell asleep.

Jesus told them to pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation but they went to sleep instead.

Much of the time we step out on our own and are only overwhelmed instead of coming before God for guidance and strength.

Pray so that you are not overcome false expectations.

Let tonight be the night when you say I going to stop depending on myself and start depending upon God.

Song : Lead me to the Cross

Jon: Are you exhausted from sin? Boardom?
            Be careful not to fall into temptation.

When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:45-46

Watch and Pray
In our battle of Sin. We often can just want to toss in the towel and give up. We can so easily get bogged down by the fight against sin.

1 Peter 5:8-9 says
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Are you clear minded?

Pray so you are not overcome with Sin.

During the next few songs if you want someone to pray with someone you can come on up to the front. You might not see someone up here but they are. They would love to pray for you. They will just ask, “how can I pray for you” You don’t need to be a member of our church if you want to come up for prayer.

Closing song:
            Nothing but the blood
            10,000 reasons
            By His Wounds

 Bill: We leave you with this verse:
Matt 11:28-29
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 When we are overwhelmed by the things of this world we are taking on the yoke of this world but Jesus said to come to Him and in coming we put down the burdens of this world and take up His much lighter yoke.

I encourage you tonight to come to Christ tonight and place your sin. Your sorrow. And your stuff at his feet and walk free under his yoke of prayer and dependence upon Him.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Day

Today is Tuesday. Back home it is 10:56pm on Monday. It has been so hard to call or skype to catch Cass back home. The timing of our breaks have not worked out very well. L

Yesterday we had a full day. In the morning we went to worship as usual. Then the youth and I did our study together. Then we had lunch and right afterward we jumped into a van to go to the beach. The Springfield has more than one resort. So we got a free ride. The beach was covered with Shells. We filled two freezer bags full of shells. We walked down the beach to the Jet Ski rental. Which is a place on the beach with jet ski’s. Not much of a rental place. So for ½ hour we paid 1200 Baht. So we rented two and did an hour each. But I talked the guy down from 4800 to 4100. In US dollars that is $132. Which was a scholarship given by someone from the united states. The jet skis were really fun. The water is harder to drive in with the waves and stuff. But totally worth the money. On the beach were people selling skirts and massages. I was really interested in a massage but didn’t have the time. (I will look into it when we go to town today) We took the shuttle back to our hotel and then swam in the pool until dinner. After dinner the youth wanted to watch a movie, so we went to my room and watched the Terminal. With Tom hanks. Then at 8:45pm they wanted to go out and play gray Wolf. (Or Ghosts in the grave yard) So after all that going going going we called it quits at 10pm. We all were beat, but some great connecting was made between the youth. These kids are in need of these connections for support. Many of them are homeschooled in a country that they don’t have a lot of friends so this is the only interaction with each other that they get all year. This has been an amazing opportunity. And Again I am greatful to Warner Alliance Church for allowing me to serve here. I will be honest we are not suffering here. It is beautiful and warm.

In about an hour we are going to town and meet up with the U's. They are staying at a hotel near where we are. Since it is Chinese new year they are here for a conference as well. Which new year is a month long. Now that is some serious party.

Thanks for your paryers of health and safety. We are doing really well. A youth cut her leg on the pool yesterday and another one went down the slide head first into the pool and cut his head open and needed 7 stitches. Other than that a few bumps and bruises and little colds. But everything else is going awesome.

The youth are responding well to the work of God and to that I praise Him!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring field first 24 hours

We have made it to the Spring field resort. The house that Jack built. (Jack Nickerson) It is a resort that has a golf coarse. It is a really beautiful place. Palm trees everywhere, geckos everywhere and other than the workers here you would never expect that you were in Thailand. It is not really what I would imagine a missions trip would be like.

The kids group is meeting at the Pavillion and the youth are meeting in Bill and I’s suite. The children are learning “Going deep with God.” The youth are doing a study called “Main Event.” Spending time with God should be our main event. The youth are awesome.

FYI bill slept and he is now doing fine. Thanks for your prayer.

I am really enjoying the International workers. Since I have gone to Simpson I learned about these guys and I see them as Heroes of the faith. That they would be willing to give up the comforts of home to go and serve. I really noticed that tonight with the talent show tonight and the videos that were sent from the States. Of Ice cream and crunch bars.

I have been enjoying the youth. We have laughed. We have spent heart-felt stories with each other. And we have played together. The kids are fun and very knowledgeable. My heart goes out to these youth. They are in a living situation that they didn’t choose. (I know that no kid has a say) but these kids are in boarding schools and international schools. I know that they don’t know the difference. So what I am saying is I really look up to these kids. They have not complained or fussed over where they live.

Speaking of candy. A dent has been made in the candy. Maybe 1/10 has been eaten so far. J Warner, I am so proud to say I serve there with the support that came in with the candy. I would love to maybe sponsor the youth for next year to do an outing together.

Tomorrow after our bible study and extended quiet time we will be going to the beach. A person has given scholarship for the youth to go on this outing. The kids are opening up with each other and trips like this help them break the ice and relate with each other. (Pictures coming soon.)