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,