quick to the point, to the point no fakin, cookin mc’s like a pound of bacon…

yet another great weekend…
so we just got back from springfest in bakersfield, and there are so many things that i don’t want to forget from this weekend.
this morning as part of our service we watched a couple scenes from the passion. i say we watched it, i could barely keep my eyes on the screen. i was sitting next to mitch wilburn (who i was with the first time i saw it) and we were both having the same reactions. any other movie and i’d laugh, but the passion actually makes me sick to my stomach. every time i see it i pick up on new emotions and things that i’ve missed before. today, the scene that got me the most was the thief asking Jesus to remember him. sounds so simple, but when i see a man with no where left to go look into the bloody face of a bruised Jesus it throws me into a different perspective. i grew up with the felt board pictures of Jesus, with a nice clean robe and a huge smile on his face, and as much as that was a part of his life, i rarely find myself with a picture of Jesus bruised, blood, crying in pain, not able to stand, with nails through his arms. tough to think about, even tougher to watch. i’m not sure how the kiddos took it, but i’m grateful for the fact that they now have an image in their heads that hopefully can’t be ignored.
this movie is also tough, because it reminds me of how blessed i am, and how little of what i have, i have earned. i work at a church that is truly blessed with some of the most caring teens i have ever been around. weird, goofy, and so full of life, my youth group has so much personality, i forget how blessed i am to say i work for them. i’m also blessed with some great friends and role models. my brother in ministry noodles was there from s.d., which is always a blessing, he’s just one of those guys that makes you feel better just being around him. most of my friends i give a little bit of good natured ribbing, but noodles is one of those guys that hasn’t said a mean thing about a person in years, and there’s nothing really to give him grief about. he works as a part time youth minister in s.d., has for several years w/o the church stepping up to make him a full time offer. it’s a shame. if socal loses him as a youth minister we’re going to be hurting. anyways, we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time hanging out (something about keeping an eye on our groups… what’s that about?) but the few minutes we could chill helped make the weekend a good one.
throw in person number two, one of my amigos from oc was there recruiting this weekend, and we got to chill just enough to bring back some good memories from the college days. we didn’t hang out a whole lot until my last couple of years, but we def have a good laugh when we hang out, and it was good to see a face from oc. he came up and talked to my kiddos about going to a christian college, and validated a lot of stories that i tell the kiddos about college life. it makes coming home and seeing a few posts from old college friends all the sweeter.
lastly, i got to hang out with mitch wilburn, one of my favorite people of all time. as much as my old youth minister influenced me to become a youth minister, mitch helped me be comfortable in being myself as a minister. always one to come with a kind word, a nod of affirmation, or encouragement to pull of some crazy idea, getting to see mitch was a def highlight for me. and on a deeper level, mitch’s encouragements have an extra sense of value these days. i know my dad is proud of me, and he can’t say it anymore physically, so hearing mitch say, ‘i’m proud of who you’ve become’ takes on an extra special meaning for me. def makes for a good weekend.
as far as the kiddos go, i think we’re starting to turn some corners and really get deeper into examining our relationship with God. the youth rally was good, and there’s always room for improvement, but i can def see places where God can use us in his work. we have yet one more adventure to add to the bonding experience, and i think with summer coming up shortly we’re gonna be on fire here pretty soon. hopefully. part of me wants a youth group to explode in numbers, and part of me wants to keep the status quo where i know every kid like a brother or sister. we’ll let God take the reigns though, he’s a lot smarter than i am, and he’s been doing this a lot longer. anyways the kiddos were great, and i am starting to see so much potential sprouting in them. man, i can’t wait to see where this group is five years from now.
other memorable moments from this weekend…
making a u-turn everywhere we went in bakersfield because i can’t read a map and listen to the kiddos at the same time
being pulled on stage to rap during a comedy skit, and pulling out the vanilla ice because that’s the first rap song i could think of that i knew the words, and then realizing not a kid in the audience knew what song i was rapping.
getting a hug from one of my kiddos that said they just needed ‘a d.j. hug’
watching one of my chaperons lose it during the passion.
watching one of my kiddos take our lawn ornament santa and walk up to girls and ask them if they’d like to give santa a kiss.
the sound of silence when all of the kiddos have finally been picked up, and its just me at the church.

well, i’ve got an elders meeting to attend. talk to you guys soon, thanks for listening.
one love, one heart.
d.j.

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Author: djiverson

I am a Christian, son, brother, artist and friend. I am blessed to be the Youth & Family Minister at New Vintage Church in San Diego. Know You Are Loved.

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