Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Small Groups:::Coming soon

We hope you all had as much fun at our "pizza & movie night" as we did!  Don't worry, we'll definitely have to do that again.  and again.  and again. :D

Kevin & I have mentioned this to a few of you, but we wanted to officially announce the start of a new portion of SpiritFire.  Beginning January 7th, we will be holding small groups every Wednesday night at 7:00pm.  
  • "Why?", you ask?  Well, we think there is a great deal of discussion that needs to happen in a "girls only" or "guys only" environment.  You know, it's just easier to talk freely and honestly when there aren't people of the opposite gender sitting there making you feel awkward.  (I think you probably understand...)  So yeah...the girls will hang out with me for one hour while the guys chill with Kevin for one hour.  
  • What's the point?  GROWTH!  We want to be there for you as you experience growth--whether in your spiritual life or not.  Whether or not we have "been there" or done every thing you're wondering about, we do have lots of junior high, high school, and college life experiences that will help US help YOU.  
  • This hour (from 7-8pm) every Wednesday night will be super casual.  There will be plenty of time to share about the ups and downs of your week, time to ask crazy or embarrassing questions, time to pray, time to play, and time to talk.  (I can't speak specifically for the guys time, but the general idea is the same.)  
  • What to bring?  
  1. yourself.
  2. your friends.
  3. the mindset that everything we will talk about is completely confidential.  
  4. your questions (about Scripture, about love, about life)
  5. YOUR ideas!  The small group is to be run BY you and FOR you.  This is not Melanie or Kevin's time to talk to you sleep.  We are there to help guide you and answer your questions and show you how to find your way in this crazy teenage Christian life.
SO, once again.  Wednesday night, January 7th at 7:00pm.  Small group time.  At the parsonage.  Guys in one area with Kevin.  Girls in a completely different spot with me.  Be THERE!  I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This just in:  SpiritFire youth are invited to the Eccles' parsonage on Monday night, December 29th @ 7:00pm.

We'll have pizza and probably other goodies.  Feel free to bring your favorite snack or a holiday plate of leftovers. :)  Also, this is a super casual party so come in your comfy clothes...sweats, pjs, slippers, hoodies, whatever.  Bring pillows or blankets or anything you'd like to have to make the movie night cozy. :)  (We of course have lots of blankets to share!)  So...a recap:

What?  Pizza Pajama Movie Night! (and CAKE for Shelby's birthday!!!)
When?  Monday December 29th. at 7:00pm (leave whenever you need to...if it gets super late I'll just kick you out!  LOL)
Where?  Kevin & Mel's house
Bring?  Yourself, your friends, and (only if you want) pillows, snacks, comfy-ness. :)


Monday, December 22, 2008


Three cheers for Christmas break!!  As one way to celebrate (and keep the boredom from setting in) we are planning a MOVIE NIGHT!  At this point the two possible evenings are either Monday Dec. 29th OR Tuesday Dec. 30th.  Any conflicts with either of those nights?  We want as many of you here as possible!  

**get ready for pizza & a movie (to be voted on soon) and of course we'll have all the board games out and the ping pong and foosball tables are always open to you.  **

Reply to me as soon as possible and we'll PARTAY for the Holidays!  (oh!  and for Shelby's birthday!!! =D) 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are you for real???

  2. Thanks to Chris & Katie for helping frost cookies!
  3. We hope to see all of you and your families at the open house TOMORROW (Wed.) night anytime between 6:00-8:30.  My table is already overflowing with deliciousness and half the food isn't even set out yet! =D
  4. Have you been thinking about Kevin's convicting topic he spoke on last Sunday?  Are you living a true authentic life?  A Christian life 24/7?  Not coming to impress Kevin & I on Sundays and then going back to "real" life Monday through Saturday...but being the same person always...with all people.  Are you kind to the annoying kid in your English class? Self-controlled with your parents when you feel like screaming at them? Patient with your friend shoe just doesn't get it?  Joyful even when you're not having the best day?  (check out GALATIONS 5:22-23.)  This is the life Jesus is calling us to.  If you decide you want to live a Christian life you canNOT do it half-heartedly.  You're either all in (every hour of every day of every week) or all out.  Go out of your way this week to help out the "stinky" kid who has no friends or keep your fists to yourself when that same "jerk" is harrassing you for the millionth time.  Are you FOR REAL?  

Monday, December 8, 2008

I don't know why the blogger decided to kind of mess of the post below.  Some of the words are chopped apart at the end of a line.  I didn't do it on purpose.  Bear with me. :)

on snacks & temptations.

  1. verses Way to keep up with your memorizing of the Scripture verses!  Next week's is I Corinthians 10:13.  ("No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.")    Don't forget about Romans 3:23 & John 3:16-17.  And if you on Ephesians 2:8-9.  It's a toughy, but you can do it!
  2. snacks  Megan & Katie, thanks for saving snack time last night.  The donuts were top notch as always! =D  Next week, Shelby has graciously offered to bring her mom's already famous nacho cheese salsa dip!  YES!! We will provide the tortilla chips. 
  3. skit    The Christmas Shoes "skit" practice Sunday night went wonderfully. You are all tremendous actors & actresses and I think it will be GREAT on Sunday! REMEMBER: Shelby please bring the typewriter/cash register. Snyders please bring an apron. Travis dress like a poor little kid. Chris come in a button down shirt looking adult. :)
  4. next sunday cookie frosting (Katie & Megan providing frosting tips if possible.)
  5. TEMPTATION: I'm pretty sure you will all be tempted this week. Probably even between last night and the time you read this blog post. But you know what? I also believe that through Christ's strength you can say "NO!!" to whatever "sweet" looking sin is staring you in the face. I challenge you. I dare you. To say "no" to whatever Satan trys to throw in your face today. tomorrow. Saturday. No, I won't talk back to my parents. No, I won't punch that guy when he ticks me off. No, I won't swear when I'm upset. No, I won't look at porn. No, I won't wish I could have sex with so-and-so. No, I won't let that kid be bullied. No, I won't stuff my face with junk food when I'm hurt. No, I won't let my emotions run my life. Just for TODAY say "No, I won't."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the real deal

hi, again, guys.  Just wanted to let you in the final decision regarding practicing the skit and getting together to PARTAY. :)  We will not be meeting Friday night or Saturday night.  After getting your input I realized it was not going to work out for many of you and that's just silly to have a party when hardly anyone can come.  So what IS happening:  

Spirit Fire: Sunday @ 6pm.  Our place.  We'll do the usual thing.  And practice for the skit too.  Then we'll perform the skit Sunday December 14th.  k? 

oh, and don't forget:  John 3:16-17.  romans 3:23.  Ephesians 2:8-9.  =D

Monday, December 1, 2008

Party & Winter Retreat

numero uno:::  I mentioned getting together for a party and skit practice this Friday.  I now have realized there are some schedule conflicts.  How does this Saturday @ 1:00pm?  Could you make it?  email me if you can or can't.  

numero deux:::Winter Retreat Registration forms are due to ME this week!  I need them by Wednesday so I can mail them out to Somerset Beach.  

numero three:::Happy Birthday to Chris Fenrich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For those of you that have heard the story...

This will be hilarious. For those of you who haven't...we'll tell it again some night if you ask nicely. =D  (ps.  Be SURE to read the post below this has LOTS of important info...about parties and such!!!)

It's like they made this sign for Melanie...about 6 months too late!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Party Time!!

1.  Thanks to all of you who made it out for the Thanksgiving Service Sunday night.  I hope you were all encouraged by the meeting of churches and reminded of the true reason we pig out on Thursday! =) 

2.  Take Pastor Dale's challenge:  prayer each day this week without asking for anything but only thanking God (for your life, for the day, for the people in your world, for forgiveness, etc)

3.  REMINDER:  NO Spirit Fire this Sunday November 30th.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

4.  Keep in mind I will still be asking you about Ephesians 2:8-9.   Anyone memorized it yet?  

5.  "The Christmas Shoes" skit:::Sunday December 7th at the 11am church service.  We will need to rehearse and here's what I'm proposing:
Friday night party @ the parsonage!  December 5th @ 7pm.  We'll have food, tons of board games, video games, movies, dish t.v., and more!  At some point we'll run over to the church to practice our skit and then run back to just hang out together!  You can leave whenever you need to but we'll ask everyone to be picked up by 10pm.  

6.  SBC Winter Retreat registration due to ME by December 4th.  Please include @ least $25 toward the total $69 cost.  (hint:  ask your parents or grandparents or good friends or aunts and uncles if you need to raise the money.)

7.  Oh, and one more thing!  the Never-Ending Bake Sale:::
 I have decided to start a sort of baking business where I take orders for things like cookies, cakes, breads, and pies and the money I make will go toward the youth group fund to help us get to retreats and conferences and more!  

So....TELL YOUR PARENTS.  Does someone in your family have a sweet tooth?  Do they need extra baking done for a holiday party? Do they want to support the youth ministry?  Call Melanie @ 734.384.0839 and place an order (at least a week in advance.)  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A quick update

Just a quick reminder and a new thought as well.  This Sunday youth group will be a bit different since we'll be attending the Thanksgiving Service @ 7pm.  I would really encourage you all to attend...and bring your families!  I would love to meet everyone!  Oh, and I'm singing. =D  lol.

As for 6pm...we'll meet at our place and pretty much hang out for a bit before the service.  You know, play games, eat food, etc.  (Anyone who hasn't brought a snack wanna bring something to share???)  Also, I'm hoping to get in a bit of brainstorming and practice time for the "Christmas Shoes" skit we talked about doing at a Sunday morning service.  

Hope to see you Sunday!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Important stuff from 11.16.08

1.  Shelby, thanks so much for the delicious snacks!  Make sure to thank your mom again for us!!! 
 Also, I forgot to ask if anyone else would be willing to bring a snack for next week?????
2.  Next Sunday (11.23.08):::Come to the parsonage at 6pm to work on the skit we will be performing in church on Sunday November 30th.  Also at 7:00pm Spirit Fire joins the community in a Thanksgiving Service @ 7pm at the church.

3.  Registration Forms for SBC Winter Retreat due to Melanie as soon as possible (Dec. 5th at the latest!)  I forgot to mention this but invite your friends!!!  It'll be even cooler that way!

4.  ephesians 2:8-9:::For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast.  

Don't forget about:
romans 3:23
john 3:16-17

Learn them.  Be awesome.  Win prizes.  Made God smile. =D

5.  Topic for the night:::Salvation

You guys did a great job of working through the questions I threw at you.  
First of all, what is salvation?  To be given freedom from the punishment of eternal death in hell because of our sins.  
Why do I need to be saved?  Because Adam & Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden was passed down to us.  Remember??  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  
Why does our sin matter that much?  God is holy and cannot allow any sin (or unrighteousness) into his presence.  Romans 3:10 tells us that "There is no one righteous, not even one."  
What is the punishment for our sins (for even one sin)?  We will be eternally separated from God and "thrown into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:41-43).  

What's our way out?  How can we be saved from this punishment?  Read the verses after Romans 3:23.  Not only are all sinful and unable to reach God, but we are offered the FREE gift of redemption (that is salvation) because of the sacrifice of Jesus' death.  If you are saved by Jesus' blood, when God looks at you he no longer sees your sins, but his Son's perfect blood covering it.  Then and ONLY then can you live eternally in God's presence!

So.  Thoughts? Questions?  Comments?  Anyone get reminded of the great salvation they have received?  Anyone accept this salvation for the first time??  Let's talk!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stuff you need to know. cool stuff. [11.09.08]

1.  Dear SpiritFire,  
As your new youth pastor, I have to admit that I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  If just one of you decides not to show up or participate the quality of our youth group would go way down, but you guys are dedicated.  Thanks for your friendship, your involvement, and your growing passion!  I can't WAIT to join you in having a great time at these sweet upcoming events and I hope all of you will look forward to them!  (Make sure you check out the pictures I posted at the bottom!)

2.  Spring Arbor University Men's Basketball Game.  Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 3pm.  Free admission.  Free pop & pizza. Free prizes.  Free look at the greatest college ever. *wink*   
Anyone interested?  Email Mel with your thoughts. 

3.  Winter Retreat @ Somerset Beach Campground.  

Sledding, skating, making new friends, delicious meals, playing, having fun with counselors and leaders, broom hockey, prayer, spending time with old friends, toboggans, laughing, snacking, keeping warm by the fire, singing, games, learning, making memories. 

Registration Forms (and min. deposit of $25) due to Melanie by November 30th.  Total cost:  $69.  Find more registration forms here.
  • Young Teens (6th-8th): Jan. 30th-Feb. 1st
  • Senior Teens (9th-12th):  Feb. 6th-8th
4.  Fundraiser ideas?  Need scholarship money to get to Dare2Share in April?  Let Mel know right away! ( in case you forgot.) 

5.  Have a few extra dollars to put toward shipping costs of the operation christmas child shoeboxes?  Pass it to Mel and she'll get it where it needs to go.  (honest!  I won't spend a dime!)  
6.  Should be memorized:  John 3:16-17.  New to be memorized (much shorter!):  Romans 3:23:  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  

7.  Topic of the Evening:  SIN.  

We discussed what sin is.  It's anything that does not completely abide by the laws of God set out for us in the Bible.  All of God's laws are summed up in these two commands:  "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself."   

Every sin anyone will ever commit will either take love away from God or take love away from another person.  Craziness!  You can do something wrong (steal, gossip, murder, disrespect, etc.) or you can sin by not doing something you should (helping the person being bullied, telling the truth, etc.) OR you can sin in your thoughts (by having a spiteful attitude, by hating someone, by wanting revenge, etc.)

We read the story in Genesis 3:1-19 that describes the Fall of Man.  Do you remember the 6 aspects of this sinful situation that are a part of every sin we commit?  [temptation.  rationalization:  coming up with reasons for your behavior that satisfy you but are ultimately incorrect.  guilt:  felt immediately or hidden and eating away at your conscience.  confrontation:  being caught in the act or later on, having to go back to the person your sinned against and make it right, etc.  blame.  consequences.  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (romans 3:23)]

But don't forgot:  that's NOT the end of the story.  God rocks.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


1)  Hi, everyone!  Thanks for being awesome at filling shoeboxes on Sunday.  Many of you went beyond the basics and I'm so proud of how you sacrificed.  This week I am challenging EACH of you to search your house and/or ask your parents to help you get together enough supplies to fill another shoebox.  We have 13 boxes left to meet our goal.  I think we can do it!  

I know money is definitely a reason to not fill a shoebox, but here's what I'm thinking.  If you normally spend a dollar here and 50 cents there on snacks or other stuff for yourself, this week go without those extra luxaries and save about $10 to make one very needy child's Christmas amazing!!  

If you've already filled a box or 3, try saving some cash to put in the boxes to help with shipping costs!

2)  Memory Verse of the week (for the 2nd time!): JOHN 3:16-17

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Write it down on a card and keep it in your planner, have a friend or parent quiz you, repeat it over and over and over.  You can DO IT.  It might be hard at first, but it gets easier.  You'll be professional before you know it!

3)  Check out Kevin's ridiculous post below this one. :)

A Gift From Kevin, to you.

This guy was absolutely FAMOUS back when I was in high school. If you haven't seen it ever, please click ONCE below. If you click more than once, it'll start stuttering, and I can't be held responsible for the annoying echo that you figure out at the very end was a second window open with the movie playing twice.

Yes, I know, it was hilarious. You're welcome. See you guys next Sunday at our place, NOT THE CHURCH. See you then.

Monday, October 27, 2008


1)  First of all, you guys are AWESOME!  Seriously, I couldn't have hand-picked a better group of students!  Thanks for learning, opening, and growing with us!  We love each of you.

2) HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY TO KEVIN!!!  I love you. 

3)  LIGHT THE NIGHT!!::this Thursday::6:00-7:30.  Dressed up or not, we're gonna have a sweet time just playing games, eating candy, and hanging out (not to mention voting on the best kids costume of the night! *smile*)  Dress warm!  and come ready for a sugar high! :)  

oh yeah...and....John 3:16-17:::memorize it.  Click here to read the verse and print it if you want.

4) Operation Christmas Child:::how cool is this?  We have set a goal of 20 (that's right twenty!) boxes to pack full of great stuff and send off to little child on the other side of world...whose Christmas is going to be a bit brighter thanks to you!

Find items to pack your boxes with this week!  Small toys, new toiletries (toothpaste, soap bars, etc.), new crayons, pens, hard candy...

This NEXT Sunday, November 2nd come with some extra cash-ola and we'll buy out the Dollar Tree to fill our boxes to the brim of awesome-ness!! :)

5)  Katie's birthday is coming up!  Three cheers for November 1st!  We can't wait to try some of your bakery goods you bring to share on Sunday! :)  

6)  So, guys, anyone agree with me...that Kevin did a great job challenging all of us on Sunday??  He asked some pretty tough questions (that even I'm still working through.)  I don't think there's a right answer to many of those ponderings and I'm not sure we'll ever come to a final decision in this lifetime, but it is SO very important to think through the possibilities and reasons to why you believe what you believe.  

What would you die for?  Really?  Close your eyes and actually imagine yourself in that position.  What would you do?  What's worth losing your life over???

What are you living for?  Are you looking beyond THIS moment to the future?  What effects are your decisions going to have tomorrow? Next month? Ten years from now?  In eternity??

What makes YOU different from everyone else? How are you unique and special in God's sight?  Are you a Christian?  Do you really believe God loves you so much that He had his only Son come to earth and die in order to make you spotless and free from sin (since that's the only way we can be in the presence of a Holy God)?  Is your life showing others that your life has been and IS being changed because of Jesus' presence in it?  

THINK about it!  

Monday, October 20, 2008


1) Ok, so I have to admit that I was completely confused on the date of Chris's birthday.  Gosh...a bit of an embarrassing mistake to make, but I think Chris is probably over it by now. :)  Thanks for the great treats Sunday night, Chris!

2) Next Sunday, October 26th, Stephanie has offered to bring in a snack for everyone (also to celebrate Kevin's birthday.)

3) Mark your schedules::: Light the Night is Thursday October 30th at 6:00pm at the church.  This is a way for kids in the area to "trick or treat" in a safe environment where the adults of the church will have their car trunks opened and decorated for Halloween and filled with candy.  Very cool.  As the youth group, you are welcome to come dressed up and do a little trick or treating if you wish, but either way I'm hoping to have some sweet activities prepared out in the field.  Obviously it will be dark by that time of night, so our games should be extra fun and entertaining.  Also, the will be cider and hotdogs to munch on and maybe some donuts too!  It should be great!  (And even better if YOU are there!)

4)  Operation Christmas Child:::You all have boldly decided to set an awesome goal of filling 20 shoeboxes to send to kids overseas.  Here's the plan.  On Sunday November 2nd, our youth group activity will be taking a little trip over to Dollar Tree and picking up some final items to make these shoeboxes AWESOME!  

Last night, I gave you a JOB:::these next 2 weeks search your own house for nice items with which to fill your boxes.  This will save you a LOT of money and it will also show your willingness to share your "wealth" of stuff with others who would appreciate way more than we do!  These are the types of things you should look for (keep in mind, you can choose to fill the box for a boy or a girl):
  • Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, yo-yos, jump ropes, crayons, coloring book, slinky (make sure all these toys are like new!!!)
  • Personal Items:  toothbrush, toothpaste (any extras from your last visit to the dentist???), soap bar, combs, etc.
  • Other:  hard candy, lollipops, mints, gum, tshirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, watches
  • DO NOT INCLUDE:  war toys, knives, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, breakable items. 
5)  On the spiritual discipline Bible Study:::I was very proud of those of you who tried your best to do a Bible study this week.  Keep up the good work!  If you didn't get a chance to study a few verses of Scripture last week, try it this week!  Any questions?? Talk it through with each other...CALL me (440-813-7025) or EMAIL me (  No question is stupid or too crazy to ask.  

6)  This past Sunday we talked about Controlling the Tongue.  Though it doesn't seem like a "spiritual discipline" because you don't sit down and do it (like you would prayer or bible study), it's something that we must discipline ourselves to keep under control.  Our tongues (the words that come out of our mouths) are very powerful.  They have the ability to tear someone down and break their hearts and spirits OR they can strengthen another person and give them encouragement to believe that they have value and are loved.  

Would you rather be loved? or Shamed?  Try to give someone a word of encouragment this week.  "Great job on that test!"  "Nice play!" or even a simple thank you accompanied by a smile can make someone's day a little better.  

This week:::notice how your words affect others; don't say something unless you really truly mean it; THINK before you speak; keep from yelling and cursings; speak the truth in love.   
And remember to look up the chapter in the book of James that describes the power of the tongue.  (Hint:  look at your "control of the tongue" handout if you  have one.)  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another year older

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps.  everyone, don't forgot to check the post beneath this one. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008


1)  Happy Monday!

2)  If you missed youth group on Sunday, you missed the coolest game EVER!  Heck yes, "7 Ball."  (Ok, so maybe it's not the coolest of all time but it was pretty darn fun...even if I did fall in dead last place.  *smile*)  

3)  As far as games and activities go, I'm sure you all have brilliant ideas and true favorites that you'd like to see the group try out.  So let me or Kevin know!!  

4)  Snack Assignment:  October 19th:::Chris Kaufmann.  (Thanks for helping us celebrate YOUR birthday, Chris!! *wink wink*)

5)  Operation Christmas Child:  We all agreed that it would be a great idea to have a goal for the youth group to fill 20 shoe boxes to send overseas to brighten the Christmas for a few needy kids.  Boxes are due November 16th.  I'm thinking we'll have spend one night of Spirit Fire shopping for supplies then boxing them up together.  Start Saving Money!!  (It will probably take between $10-$20 to fill one shoebox and then there is the $7 shipping cost on top of that...yes I found out we're responsible for this point at least.)

6)  Reviewing the Spiritual Discipline of Bible Study.  I hope all of you who came last night to Spirit Fire were able to understand the concept and practice of Bible Study as I described it.  The thoughts you offered to the group during discussion were really helpful--I appreciate each one of your words of imput!  :)

This week, your challenge is to spend 20 minutes each day studying a passage of Scripture.  It can be any passage at all.  Starting in Mark is a good idea (or Psalms or Luke).  Read however much you would like to focus on (If you're reading Mark try reading the entire "story" being told under the bold heading.  If you're in a book like Psalms read a chapter if it's short or just read a few verses.)  After you've read through the verses once or twice try to figure out the answers to questions like these:
  • What speaks to my heart?
  • What new thought or idea comes to me?
  • What does this passage lead me to do in my real life?
  • (If you are reading a "story"-like book such as Mark) What is happening? Who is involved?  What is the effect of the actions taken by the disciples? by Jesus? by the people in the crowd?  
  • What meaning do those actions have for YOU?
  • How does that meaning apply to your life?  How should this change my life?
If there are words or concepts in a passage that you are having trouble figuring out you can either:  1) ask me or Kevin or Pastor Dale, 2) Find a bible commentary or Bible dictionary, or 3) Enter your question with the Scripture reference into a Bible search engine like  

7)  Keep up the great work this week!  

Monday, October 6, 2008


First, you guys are all AWESOME.  Seriously!  This post is going to have some important information in it so be sure to read it ALL. :)

1)  Be sure to read Kevin's post from earlier today.

2)  Notice that I added a list to the right side of the blog for BIRTHDAYS!  I believe each one of your birthdays is a great excuse to celebrate and I would love to have a complete list of your dates of birth.  Please post a comment on this blog post with that special day. :)

3)  ARC dinner servers:  Katie, Megan, Travis, Chris K, Chris F, and Shelby have offered to volunteer their time this Friday evening to help serve at the ARC dinner. Here's the information you will need: 
Where:  Prince of Peace Church (corner of Dunbar & Lewis)
When:  5pm on Friday, October 10th
What:  Serving drinks and desserts
Clothes:  WHITE shirt & BLACK pants
I will be sure to email the 6 of you later this week to remind you!  We need YOU to be there!

4)  Now, whether or not you were able to join us on Sunday evening for youth group, here's the message in a nutshell:
You guys did a great job describing the various aspects of the word "discipline" and then were able to figure out what the term "spiritual discipline" meant.  We defined the term spiritual discipline as follows:  intentionally setting aside time to get to know God better.  

Most of us agreed that our lives are pretty darn busy and we all have our own ideas of what we do if we had 20 minutes to spare in a day.  Sleeping, tv, video games, and friends were all ways we can easily fill that amount of time.  However, we also talked about how important it is that we DECIDE to give God at least 20 minutes of our days if we desire to deepen our relationship with him.  (That's how you get to be good friends with someone right?  You spend TIME with them?)

Surrending your life over to God's control is not a one-time decision.  Every day we need to make the choice to give him our yolk (not the egg...hee,hee...but the heavy burdens that we are carrying) and let him take care of all our worries, fears, plans, hopes, and dreams.  It's not an easy thing to do--we like CONTROL don't we?  But in reality giving Jesus the job of carrying our burdens and our plans for our lives means life is going to be easier.  Read Matthew 11:28-30 as a reminder of this concept.  Re-read that passage until you really understand the message Jesus is trying to across to us.  He will give us the rest we need if we give him our burdens.  

5)  My challenge to you this week is this:  pick ONE spiritual discipline to practice every day this week.  Come back on Sunday evening prepared to tell us how it went.  Was this a completely new activity you tried?  What did you learn?  Was it harder than you thought?  Or easier?  

If you can't think of a spiritual you would like to try then google "spiritual disciplines" and search around until you find something that makes sense to you and that you want to attempt.  OR here's some other ideas  (keep in mind...there's a much deeper description of each of these in my Spiritual Disciplines Handbook which you are welcome to look at):

  • Devotional Reading=to prayerfully encounter and surrender to the Living God through attending to Scripture.
How to:  -prayerfully focus on a passage of Scripture 
-stay focused on one passage of Scripture until the Lord prompts you to move to another.
-don't read the passage in order to understand every aspect of it, but in order to let it's message penetrate your heart.
  • Journaling=to be alert to my life through writing and reflecting on God's presence and activity in, around, and through me.
How to:  -record your prayers, prayer requests, answers to prayers.
-keep a written record of the way God is working in your life (this is include drawings, collages, poems, quotes, and so on as well as your thoughts) 
-keep track of important events and transitions that happen each day or week.
  • Unplugging=to be fully present to and uninterrupted in my interactions with God and others.
How to:  -unplug electronice devices (like iPods, computers, cell phones, tvs...)
-refrain from watching tv for recreation
-devote uninterrupted time and attention to God

  • Service=to reflect the helping, caring, and sharing love of God in the world.
How to:  -using your gifts and abilities to help others (raking leaves, serving mentally disabled at the ARC dinner, baking cookies for a friend, babysitting, holding doors for people, asking if you can help clean up after an event, and so on.)  
-using those services to show that God loves the hurting people all around you.
6)  If you have any questions email me at  (For instance if you don't get anything I just explained...ASK!)  

7)  Love you all! 

New Posts, and satisfying my curiosity.

I was just wondering if more people checked this than are commenting. So if everyone could throw up a comment whenever you get around to checking this, I'd be all appreciative and such. That said, I got a half pass on my P-Chem cume test, which is actually better than it sounds.

Had a great time with you all last night, and I hope to see you all next week, so we can eat Travis's Pizza. (Yes, Travis this is part of your reminder...although I'm sure Mel will remind you about it with an email later)

But anyway, this is me with class starting, so till next time...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kevin has hijacked the blog!

I'm sure Mel will be a little surprised when she reads this, but I wanted to say hey to everyone, and since Mel set up the blog this morning, I logged into her account and added myself as an author. Gotta love being married and knowing all her passwords. *big smile*

Looking forward to seeing everyone this coming Sunday Night, 6:00 at the church. Mel's got some fun stuff planned, and we've got a topic for the month of October all picked out and I think you guys will like it. Anyway, true to form, I'm at work right now, and I got all distracted when I got the email about the blog from Mel, so I've spent 20 minutes hacking my way in. =D I've got a big huge test tonight that I'm supposed to fail, so I should get to studying for it so I don't fail as badly. Prayers would be appreciated. *worried grin*

Hope to see you all Sunday Night!

Oh, and PS:  make sure to read Mel's entry right below this one! =D

On Trial Runs

Hello, Friends!  As Kevin and I mentioned on Sunday, we have decided to start a youth group blog where you can stay current on events, keep up with the topics we are discussing, and stay connected to one another.   

This past week, we had fun making our way through the fields of Crot's Corn Maze and it was officially announced that I have been chosen to be your new youth pastor!  I must admit I am thrilled for this opportunity--I love all of you guys already!  However, this is a first time experience for me and I hope you will be patient as I learn how to lead you effectively.  My ears are always open to your questions and opinions and advice.  

Speaking of which...allow me to take a "rabbit trail."  We hope to open up a "Thought Box" that will be permanently set up in the youth room where you can write a question on a slip of paper and slide it in there without having to pose your questions publically.  If you leave a question in the box you can be assured that your name will never be publically announced.  

Ok, before I close this first official post of Spirit Fire, I wanted to remind you to come on Sunday evening prepared to have a great time getting to know one another through some crazy ridiculous games.  :D  Also, when we sit down for the more "official" part of our meeting together, we will begin a multi-week study that will help us all learn to focus more on developing a deeper relationship with Jesus.  It should be interactive and quite enjoyable (don't worry, if I get too boring and start rambling on and on and on Kevin will stop the madness!! ha,ha!)  

Pursuing Him,