Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Two papers to turn in...and a weeklong Maymester and this chapter is complete

Hard to believe that two and a half years ago, that I started grad school here at Pfeiffer University.  It was a month after my brother passed away.  I was in a place that was dark and confusing.  I had no clue what was going on.   On Sunday January 20th, 2008, my church hosted Christian artist Ed Kilbourne.   After the concert Jessica and I were over at the merchandise table buying a CD when Ed's wife Kathleen, asked me when I was going to work on my masters degree.  She had sent me several emails and mailed me some information during the past year.   I told her I wasn't sure, that we had a lot going on.  She asked me if I was still planning on continuing my United Methodist Deacon candidacy process...and I said, "one day..."  Kathleen then responded with well tomorrow you'll start.  Just Call me in the morning and class starts at 2PM.

And my Grad school days begun....

At first it was a huge adjustment.  It had been several years since I wrote anything having to use MLA formatting!   I had to also readjust my church schedule.   I had to plan ahead more so I could fit in reading, projects, and papers.   Two semesters I took the max load of classes.  I wanted to be finished.

I look back at my two and half years of graduate studies and seminary work and its hard to believe it over.  Its hard to believe that after I turn in my final two papers and go to the main campus for a week for my Evangelism class through Wesley Seminary that this chapter is over in my life.  I will have a Masters in Christian Education, United Methodist Certifications in Youth Ministry and Christian Education, and will have all more courses complete for the Deacon process to be ordained in the United Methodist Church.

Besides all these things I have earned...I found a great group of friends in ministry.   My classmates were the ones that helped me going through the tough times in my journey.   They helped me as I was dealing with the death of my brother.  They helped me as we dealt with Jessica's miscarriage.   They were my weekly vent and ideas sounding boards.  As I was for them.   I have learned so much from my fellow classmates.  I've learned new ideas to bring back to my student ministry and church.  I have learned from them tips on self care in ministry.   I have learned games, talks, bible studies, sermons, and so much more from these friends.

As I finish my last bit of paper work I want to thank all the professors and classmates for being there for me during the good and the bad.  I know that I have made friends for life.  Thanks!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beyond our yearbooks

For the third time in my youth ministry career, I'm starting the Doug Field's Series "Beyond the Yearbook" tonight.  It is probably my favorite series for youth ministry that I've ever done.  In this series for the next three weeks we’re going to talk about God wants you to be a part of His family.  And not only that but God wants you to be a friend of His and to view Him as a friend.  And God wants to be a part of that whole change process where He changes you to be more like Him.  That’s what we’re going to talk about.
Its been thirteen years since I got my last yearbook.  From time to time I go back and look at the silly comments like, "See you next Fall", "Hope you have a great summer", "It was fun having class with you"....and those people who wrote them are generally the friends I have on facebook that I only hear from when it's my birthday...But then there are the yearbook notes that were a paragraph or a whole page long.  And those are the friends I still keep in touch with today.  Some ever day....Others every couple months we'll chat, text, email, or talk on the phone.  

But that's just how a lot of us treat God when we were in High School.  Either we have a face value friendship that we say, "See you next Sunday", "Enjoyed having worship today with you", "See you when I have a family".   Or we talk to him everyday through prayer, worship, fellowship.

So looking back at your yearbooks....who do you still keep in contact with?   Looking back at God's yearbook....What is your relationship with Him today? Just a facebook friend....or a true meaningful relationship?