Monday, April 26, 2010

Youth Group TShirts!

After getting everyone's opinions of the youth group name, the overwhelming majority of you voted to keep the name as SpiritFire--which is especially convenient for us considering all of the newsletter stationary and website/blog names. :)

With that decided, we want to look into getting us some sweet new shirts. Pastor Dale has connections with a print shop where we could get the shirts for great prices--probably under $10!!

These are some design ideas, so if you have some more fabulous ideas, let us know! Try your hand at some designs and SUBMIT THEM so we can vote! We have at least two Spring Arbor graphic designers interested in drawing up a design too!

**keep in mind tshirt color and font color all all changeable (but we will have to vote on one shirt /font color for all of our shirts!)

Option 1

first line:  SpiritFire

second line: ministries

Option 2

first line: SpiritFire
second line: youth
small byline: est. AD 33
(as in established the year of Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension)

Option 3

 in circle: nonconformist
                   Romans 12:2
(Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing, and perfect will.)
under blocks: SPIRITFIRE

(I think we're both big fans of this one. Pink font and all! But we could change the font to neon green or something equally obtrusive!)

Cast your votes!

Bible Quizzing Newbies

If you haven't already checked out the previous post on Bible Quizzing, you should head over here to do so.

Those entering grades 6-12 who are interested in Bible Quizzing should definitely plan on attending our last two Bible Quiz Practices of the year. Come to the parsonage Wednesday @7pm (April 28 & May 5) to see what practices are all about (no stress, very fun & relaxed!

We will need to know by Wednesday May 12th who is definitely going to be Bible Quizzing over the book of John in the fall. Please consider this a dedicated commitment of your time. 
  • We will not have practices over the summer but a study schedule and listening cds and quizzing portions (the book of John) will be provided so you can get a jump start! 
    • NEW quizzers will need to memorize 5 of the "quote verses" over the summer.
    • RETURNING quizzers (along with Kevin and Melanie) will be memorizing ALL of the quote verses over the summer.
    • "Quote verses" are one of THE MOST important parts of quizzing. These verses are  not chosen at random, but because of their distinct ability to apply to your life now and in the future. Being able to recall Scripture verses in times of sharing your faith or in times of trouble or joy is an essential part (and a wonderful part) of being a true follower of Christ.
  • You will be expected to attend each weekly Bible Quiz practice on Wednesdays from 7-8pm. 
    • we will have a time of devotional and study based on the chapters we are studying for that week--this will help us understand what we learning. 
    • we will spend time practicing "jumping" techniques, prejumping skills, quoting "quote verses," answering practice questions, and having LOTS of fun along the way--all in an effort to prepare for the monthly quiz.
  • Monthly quizzes take place (typically) the 2nd Saturday of the month and go from 8:30am-4pm. Many months require a long (2-4 hours) drive so we may have overnight quiz weekends. 
  • Bible quizzing is meant to be a fun, competitive way to learn the Word of God. If you do not have a desire to dedicate your time to "Hide God's Word in your heart" (Ps 119: 11) then Bible Quizzing is probably not for you. Studying is to be done on your own--using your Bible portion, your listening cd, and any other study methods you would like to employ.
We are really looking forward to a new season of quizzing and hope to form at least one new team of quizzers! If you or your parents have any questions about this program, please contact Kevin or Melanie!

Benefits of Quizzing:
  1. It develops great study skills that will benefit students in school and in their future endeavors. 
  2. You get the chance to travel to new citities (possibly to Seattle next year for Nationals).
  3. You make lots of new friends--many of whom may become college classmates of you choose to attend an FM school like Spring Arbor Unversity. 
  4. FM university scholarships are available for top quizzers at the regional and national levels. 
  5. Achieving awards and ribbons and trophies encourages continued commitment. 
  6. It's a great family activity--study together!
  7. Quizzers gain confidence--especially at public speaking as they answer questions in front of their peers and the quiz masters. 
  8. Sunday school lessons and Pastors' sermons become even more affective when you already know the material. 
  9. Competition is exciting--win or lose!
  10. Quizzers learn to set goals and work as a team--you can't win if you're letting one person do all the work. 
  11. You grow spiritually by regularly practicing the discipline of memorizing Scripture.

YW Student Newsletter


       1.  Something for Your Heart
       2.  Surf Report
       3.  Forgettable Fact
       4.  Potent Quotables
       5.  Uh, That's Funny?


"A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly." (Proverbs 12:23)

I'll admit; I've done it. Maybe you have, too. Propelled by insecurity -- afraid the smart people around me wouldn't know I was smart, too -- I've brought up topics in conversation just so I could show off how much I knew about them.

I've even spewed every last fact in my head about things I didn't really know that much about -- sometimes making up details and delivering them with fake confidence. I was foolish.

Sometimes fools, looking to feel significant or just unable to stop the words from spilling out, even reveal information that could expose them or others to genuine danger. (Think passwords, troop movements, a good friend's secrets.)

A wise person asks: "Who am I helping besides myself by what I'm about to say?" If the answer is, "Nobody," the wise person leaves that bit of knowledge left unsaid. If I only speak to serve myself, I'll just make it obvious more quickly what a fool I really am.

Do: Be honest with yourself: How often do you blurt knowledge just to build yourself up in the eyes of others? What do you think when you realize other people are doing that with you?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be prudent and not share knowledge foolishly.

Do: Listen this week for foolish talkers blurting out folly and try to catch some wise friends not sharing all they know.
A Daily Devotional from, copyright 2010 Youth Specialties. Used by permission.

I Am My School [Youth Specialties blog]

Movie review of Oceans [Christianity Today]

Until the year 1920, Canada was planning on invading the United States.

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
~ G.K. Chesterton

For the rain it raineth every day.
~ William Shakespeare


What do you get if you cross a chicken with a cement mixer?
A brick layer!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Final Regional Bible Quiz::I&II Corinthians

After spending Friday night enjoying a car ride, ice cream at the Parlour, and a night of fun and games at Kevin's parents' house, our quizzers finished the conference quiz year out with a bang! 
The following pictures tell the story. 

There is one final quiz next month, May 7-8 in Indianapolis, IN. 
This is regional quiz--second only to Nationals. 

If you are entering 6th-12th grade in September 
and are interested in joining the Bible Quizzing program, 
please contact Kevin or Melanie ASAP.  
:::IMPORTANT detailed quizzing information posted after the photos!:::


::Ash & Michaela--come on, girls, you've got this!::

::quizmaster and Mel doing the scorekeeping thing::




::quiz team photo with coach Melanie::
Ash. Chris. Michaela.
photo by Dave Turner.

::hoping Katie wants to quiz with us next year! 
She's a great study partner!::

::girls being girls::
Mel. Katie. Michaela. Ash.

::2nd place Young Teen Rookie A division::

::Chris secured 1st place in Senior Teen Rookie Individuals::

Chris was awarded the 2nd place position on the "All Star Quizzers Team" for the 2009-2010 year. 
He placed 2nd overall out of 80 young teen (rookie and veteran) quizzers in our conference for the entire year. 
This is a HUGE deal! 
Congrats, Chris! We're so proud of you!

We will begin preparing for the fall season within the next couple months
and will need to know what numbers to be preparing for. 
Our next book of quizzing will be over the Gospel of John. 
(Check out the full line of quizzing products here.
Feel free to purchase any tools that would be helpful to you.)
Quizzing portions 
(the name of the pocket-sized books for quizzers containing only John)
will be ordered in the next two weeks. 
Most of our quizzers would like the Quizzers 3-in-1.  

This includes:
    * Color-highlighed portion. Because color conveys a lot of information, we have highlighted this scripture to identify people, deity, places, time, and numbers. In addition, unique words are bold, and Old Testament quotations are underlined.
    * Exhaustive concordance. Each word is listed along, with the context from each verse in which it occurs.
    * Useful study lists. Study lists include unique words, word pairs, word triples, divine names, named individuals, people groups, lists of 3 or more things, interrogatives, repetitive phrases, alphabetical listing of all verses, proper nouns, quotations, exclamations, ineligible ""Finish This Verse""; verses, geography, numbers, and a pronunciation guide.

We will use the Bible Quiz account to cover $4 of the total $8.45 (retails for $17 elsewhere)
You will cover the rest (and will purchase any other portions to replace a lost book). 

We will also purchase the voice recording of John to share with the students. 
This is a great tool for auditory (listening) learners!

Contact Kevin or Melanie by May 9th. 

***Special Note about Quizzing for Fall 2010***
  1. We will not have quiz practice during the summer.  
  2. However. All returning quizzers will be required to memorize ALL quotes during the summer.  
  3. New quizzers will be required to memorize at least FIVE (5) quotes during the summer. 
  4. We will be purchasing a special listening cd with just quotes recorded (for your listening and memorizing pleasure.) 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

LifeChangers: Mission Trip Sign UPs

LifeChangers: Detroit Mission Trip:  Registration is due before May 1st. Please reserve your spot with Melanie before Sunday, April 25th. Registration requires a $25 deposit of the $150 per person cost for this 8 day/7 night mission trip. We will need a couple parent volunteers to attend with us. If your parents are interested let Melanie know!  Check out the website for more information. 

-cost includes: lodging (school gymnasium), meals, program and construction materials, 2 tshirts, a waterbottle, an afternoon at the waterpark, and more! 

::Intensive work projects in Northwest Detroit in the morning. Home repairs. Demolition. Lot restoration.
::Student-led (that's YOU) Backyard Bible clubs for local kids in the afternoon.
::Moving worship experiences in the evenings. With great college students from SAU leading in song. Testimonies. Growth. Sharing.

::Bible Quizzing:: Spring Arbor, MI. All those interested in Bible Quizzing next fall (entering grades 6-12) are welcome to come watch a day in the life of a Bible Quizzer. The Quiz begins at 9am and will end around 3pm. If you want to join us Kevin, Melanie and our three veteran quizzers Friday night as we spend the night at Kevin's parents' home, let us know by WEDNESDAY so we can arrange rides. And if you want to meet us in Spring Arbor (an hour and a half drive) on Saturday and need directions, just ask! 

Quizzers, we plan to leave our home at 6pm Friday night (eat dinner BEFORE you come!) 

::Chili Cook-Off Competition Softball Game::

A Fundraising Event for the Youth Group’s 
Summer Missions trip to LifeChangers: Detroit 

When?  Sunday, April 18th @ 6:00pm 
Where?  The Church Field & Fellowship Hall 
What?  $5 suggested donation
(proceeds benefit the youth mission trip)
1. Join the age-wide softball game.
2. Bring your best pot of CHILI
3. Vote on your favorites & applaud the winner (winner will receive an Applebee's gift card!)

Bring the whole family out for this great event! Fun, food, fellowship and fundraising!

Bring your own lawn chairs,
Any softball equipment you have

Monday, April 5, 2010

YS Student Newsletter

YS Student Newsletter #439


       1.  Something for Your Heart
       2.  Surf Report
       3.  Forgettable Fact
       4.  Potent Quotables
       5.  Uh, That's Funny?

 "He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.' " (Acts 1:9-11)

I don't think countforward is a real word, but we're not counting down any more. The countdown was finished when Jesus walked out of His tomb alive and more powerful than ever. Now the clock is moving forward toward the day He will return.

In the verses right before these, Jesus said we don't get to know how long. Nobody knows the hour or the day -- but there is a specific hour, a day on the calendar, coming. He will be back. The Father knows exactly when.

In the meantime, we have a job to do, you and me and all those who believe all of these things we've been talking about all week. We have a job to use real power -- the same power of God that raised Jesus from the dead at work in us -- to be witnesses of what we've seen that power accomplish.

It's a job that matters. And the clock is ticking. That's the message of Acts 1.

Think: Are you looking forward to the return of Christ? What difference does His return make in your life? How seriously do you take the call to be His witness in your world?

Pray: Ask God to help you to make the best use of the power and time He gives to you to accomplish whatever He asks of you in this life.

Do: Read Acts 1 all the way through.

A Daily Devotional from, copyright 2010 Youth Specialties. Used by permission.


Bluebirds cannot see the color blue.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
~ Charles Dickens

Lead me not into temptation (I can find the way myself).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

LOTS of stuff to take note of!

True LOVE Waits. Purity Rings. They're IN!!! And I think they look even more awesome in person!  So far I only ordered for those who gave me their "for sure." (Chris, Isaac, Ashley, Michaela, Brooke, Katie, Marissa.) If you would like to get involved in this and would like a ring ordered for you, let me know within the next few days--and they should still be in by Sunday April 11th for our little mini ceremony and purity covenant signing. 

Also, the cost is $25 per ring! We do have limited funds to help with the cost of these rings, but if you and your parents are able to cover the majority of the cost, that would be fantastic! Please have the money turned in by April 11th. 

Dating Series. We brought our dating series to a close after last week's small group discussions--with the exception of the purity ring ceremony April 11th. However, this issue can be addressed at any time! Feel free to bring it up in youth group or by leaving a message (anonymous if you want!) on the blog! We love to (try to) answer your questions! 

Easter Sunday. is TOMORROW!  Bring your family and friends!  Complimentary breakfast at 9:30am. Easter Egg hunt for the kids at 10:00am. And service at 11:00am. (No youth group tomorrow. We will resume April 11th with the purity ring ceremony and a great look into the death and resurrection of Christ--post Easter.)

Star Wars Marathon. This is going to be a great opportunity to bring all of your friends--especially those who might not want to come to "youth group." Come out at 5pm Monday April 5th. Bring lots of food to share! Bring your sleeping bags and pjs and any games or movies you'd like!  Spend the night and wake up to Melanie's fresh cinnamon rolls!  Then start up on part 2 of the Star Wars Marathon.  

Note: while the Star Wars movies will be showing for the duration of this purely-for-fun event, there are many other options--the fun is up to you! Ping pong, foosball, other movies in the upstairs living room, a HUGE collection of games, and more! 

LifeChangers '10. Though our summer mission trip to LifeChangers Detroit is still months away (July 17-24), we need to register with a $25 deposit (or the full $150) per person by MAY 1st. I'm going to be needing to know who is for sure for this event within the next few weeks. So be praying and thinking and talking to your parents