so i def need to remember to save stuff when i type.
i wrote this big long blog about everything that’s been going on the past few weeks and its gone. ouch. so now that i feel enough time has passed by to try this again, i guess i’ll do the recap.
the past couple of weeks have been pretty insane. two weeks ago at this time i was helping put up molding in a new house for some folks here at the church. the next day we had a game night w/ the youth group that involved me, 21 kiddos, guitars and boardgames that was one of those awesome but insane evenings. i’m loving the fact that the kids are starting to bring their friends to events. anyways, it was a crazy night that had me leading the kids in a rousing version of johnny cash’s ‘ring of fire’ to start off the evening. then on saturday i woke up at 700 to help that family move into the new home, which consisted of 10 hours and two full loads in a 26 foot truck. needless to say they had a lot of stuff, but it really wasn’t that bad because everything was organized. in fact, they were the picture of what a move should be. everyone had work to do the whole day, every box was labeled, just the right amount of people, and those that couldn’t lift the heavy stuff were really cool about helping keep the rest of us organized, fed and hydrated. normally i put a 6 month policy on helping people move, but if were going to be that organized i might knock it down to 3. that being said, i was sooooo incredibly sore on sunday. i really don’t remember what i taught or how i even managed to get to the building sunday morning. later that afternoon, i drove up to big bear with a few other youth ministers for our first annual ‘stay at one of our members’ free cabins and go snowboarding’ retreats. the first notable thing that happened was that i made the mistake of using a really bad analogy over dinner that provided the comedy ammo for the entire trip. needless to say we all laughed till our sides were splitting from too much comedy and pizza. interesting sidenotes here: 1. even when we have our own retreats, youth ministers still end up eating pizza. 2. there’s something inherently funnier about youth minister jokes than other friends. i think it’s being able to say things that you would have to hold back normally due to the discretion that we live under. that being said, we stayed up till 4am joking and trying to play a game of risk. this created a problem the next morning when we got up at 8 to go snowboarding. so i’m completely sore from moving, i’m tired, and i have my first try on a snowboard at a time in the morning that i’m barely getting up on a good day. that being said,
SNOWBOARDING IS AWESOME.
i found a new love, mtn. snow is thy name. dantheman brought up some extra boots and a board for me to try out, an i’m completely stoked he did. all i had to pay for was a lift ticket. i’ll take time to mention a few things here. all of my life i have considered myself a subpar athlete, and do everything i can to chicken out of things that i can, and not even show up when something that i haven’t tied before is on the docket. so the fact that i got up over and over again and really tried to learn how to snowboard all day is the biggest feat of the day for me. no chickening out, no being a wimp. me vs. mtn when i knew the mtn was going to win the first few rounds. needless to say i was even more sore by the end of the day, to a point where i could barely stand up on my toes, which is a problem when it comes to snowboarding. continuing the theme of me providing the comedy ammo for the weekend, i wish i could watch a video of me learning how to snowboard. my first time off of the lift i ate it as the next chair was about to hit me. good comedy. then, as i was learning how to stand, dantheman had me getting up on my toes with my back facing down the hill. even better comedy. i was learning how to go down the hill backwards, hoping that my pants weren’t down past my crack mooning everyone on the lift. still more comedy. i almost ran into the lift a couple of times, and i caught an edge trying to avoid an adult ski school and did a sweet flip and landed tailbone first somehow right in front of them. i would like to thank the snowsummit ski school staff for encouraging their clientele to clap their poles together in applause for my gymnastic feat. regardless of all the spills i kept getting up and had a blast, and was sort of in control by the end of the day. the point was that i did it and had fun. enough fun that i’m stoked to go back and try some bigger and better runs.
my new stoke for snowboarding also brings up an interesting debate. snowbunnies vs. surfchicas. i was trying to get the guys on the trip involved on this but i was the resident single guy which leaves for very limited discussion. so my new infatuation for the mountains may have a some peripheral motives, maybe it was something in the hot chocolate, but man those snowboarding chicas are unreal for the most part. they’re def a lot more approachable than surfchicas in their element, and i think there’s something about the cold weather and snow that adds to the atmosphere. the real question is, why wasn’t i snowboarding earlier? i’d kick myself if my feet weren’t stuck in my bindings.
so last week was spent with me being sore. i got home late tuesday afternoon and pretty much zoned until that night when me and the cuz were supposed to be go and be social with some of his friends. anyways, weds and thurs of last week were spent painting the youth room and hanging out with a bunch of the kiddos. both of those things are awesome and make it easy to be tired because i was getting dirty and having fun, two of my favorite activities. then, another saturday of moving and stuff… not near as bad as the weekend before, but it just cracks me up how these things always come in pairs.
so sunday comes around, and after church i headed south to s.d. to see the godfather, my old youth minister who is moving up to portland in a couple of months. he needed help fixing up his condo for him to put on the market, and my part involved putting up molding around the place. like i said, these things always come in pairs. more to the point, you gotta love being around spiritual people. i call him the godfather because he is seriously responsible for the most significant spiritual growth of most of the people my age in san diego that still go to church. there’s a lot to be said for that. anyways, we had quite a few long talks, which means seriously deep conversation that is going to rock the mind a little bit.
this round we talked a lot about how we fall into the trap of looking for fulfillment from our jobs. this is pretty tough for ministers because our jobs are so closely tied to our spiritual lives. long story short, it was good to get a reminder that as long as i was in line with, and getting my fulfillment from my relationship with God, the rest would follow. easier said than done, but important to remember when i’m worried about trying to build relationships with the kiddos.
the biggest thing that amazed me about spending time with the godfather is the level of conversation. talking football or sports just isn’t going to happen around him. everything turns into a spiritual matter. man, to be able to pull that off would be awesome. baby steps though. one thing at a time. needless to say it was a bittersweet past couple of days spending time with my mentor who is going to be moving away.
speaking of moving, this past weekend is the ten year anniversary of our move to seattle. weird feelings. i can think to ten years ago how my world got turned upside down. not that i’m really into looking back on that time, actually i think ive blocked out most of those memories. hmmmm, just weird how much has changed in ten years. i don’t feel like an old man, but part of me wants so much of that time back. at least the first half of that… i feel ripped off. like i was doing so well and got flipped like i was in some sort of wicked science experiment. of course who knows where i would have ended up if i had stayed in san diego. yeah, this whole line of thinking is getting dangerous and its not even close to the rainy day that i need to really want to think about these things.
in the other bad news dept. i had a pretty tough conversation with one of my long time close friends who has completely turned his back on God. It’s tough because he hides behind politics as his reason for his decisions, but he’s trying to push me away in the process. the toughest part is trying to forgive him for the things that he says to me, and still try and be a representative of God’s love. there are a couple of underlying issues that keep popping up in our discussions though. first, it seems that the smarter you think you are, the less you need God. we as humans are so demanding of control that we refuse to believe that we aren’t’ at the pinnacle of existence. hearing my friend talk just reinforces in so many ways that trying to deal with deep scars without giving them to God is nothing but damaging. secondly, it always cracks me up when people do not give Christians the same rights that we are accused of taking away. part of our conversation was debating over the christian role in not allowing gay marriage. he said it wasn’t right for christians to make up the minds for other people. true. every person in this country had the right to voice their opinion in the election. however, i’m wrong because i vote along my moral lines? is this double standard not completely obvious? i’m the one who is impeding rights when i exercise my vote? no, i’m voicing my opinion. if i was voting to not allow gays to vote that would be a whole other issue. but i’m not telling anyone that they can’t be gay, but i’m certainly not going to endorse it, or allow yet another institution that God has created to compromised. people have every right to choose to disobey God. we are not robots. God gave us that freedom of choice, and i’m not going to condemn anyone for exercising free will. i will not however stop reminding people that there are consequences for CHOOSING TO LIVE A LIFE AGAINST GOD. i’m not perfect, but when i recognize that i have made choices that are going to have dire consequences i do my best to not make those same decisions again. once again, this falls under the easier said than done dept., but what this doesn’t allow for is consistently choosing to go against God without attempting to do better, and not expecting to suffer the consequences. back to the point, i told my friend that if he felt that voting to encourage people to destroy God’s plan for marriage, and allowing people to choose if their baby was convenient enough to live, was something that he felt was glorifying to God, then he had that right to choose ow he was going to vote. i’m not going to force him to vote any certain way, but i am sure not going to require the same respect.
this goes back to what i was writing about my mom a few months ago. she worked in a high school science dept where she was ridiculed for her beliefs in God. IF the situation had been flipped around and someone felt that they were not getting fair treatment because they weren’t christian, the aclu would be in there in a heartbeat (with cameras probably getting every sobbing detail on the evening news), but would they take a case of a christian being ridiculed, or being put in an uncomfortable situation? double standard?
well, the before i get too much more worked up, i need to get back to my small group study for tonite. gotta love having the kiddos as a reminder to spend time with God.
oh yeah, embarrassing moment of the day… our preacher rode his scooter to work today since he is having issues with his car, so i decide i’ll be cool and ride the scooter around… and i def ate it on a gravel driveway down the street. yeah, me+scooter=bad idea/comedy. needless to say i’m cracking up because i haven’t had road rash this bad in a while. nothing like a few pieces of gravel to let you know you’re still alive. well, i’m off to buy a new pair of jeans.
one love, one heart.