Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whacha Think???

Cell Phones Key to Teens’ Social Lives, 47% Can Text with Eyes Closed

Nearly half (47%) of US teens say their social life would end or be worsened without their cell phone, and nearly six in 10 (57%) credit their mobile device with improving their life, according to a national survey from CTIA and Harris Interactive.

Four out of five teens (17 million) carry a wireless device (a 40% increase since 2004), finds the study titled “Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged,” which probes how the growing teen wireless segment is using wireless products and how they want to use them in the future.

Impact on Teen Life

A majority (57%) of teens view their cell phone as the key to their social life.
Second only to clothing, teens say, a person’s cell phone tells the most about their social status or popularity, outranking jewelry, watches and shoes.

In our High School Ministry we just banned cell phones. At the start of the school year we initiated a new policy that states, "At all Westover Youth Events cell phones are no longer allowed." The use of cell phones...mainly texting during classes, small groups, and worship was so bad that we decided just to remove the temptation. We had, for 10 months asked the teens to power off their cell phone and put it away, what they did was silence their phone and text in their pocket. So during worship everyone's pants were lighting up. Brings a whole new meaning to the saying "...or are you just happy to see me?"

Our policy was met, surprisingly, with very little resistance...just one family. What we ask is for teens to either leave their cell phone at home, or in their car. Prior to entering our youth center teens are greeted by adults and asked to drop off their phone, if they neglected option one or two, into their huddle phones are divided by age groups.

Don't know why I'm talking about this today, but cell phone useage, when it comes to teenagers is a necessity now more than a privilege and that just ticks me off!

So, what are your thoughts???

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oh My...

WARNING: if you're not interested in reading about my summer and are only here for picutres scroll down to the bottom and there will be plenty for you to enjoy. For you other on!

My summer is officially over and all that I can muster to say is, "oh my..." Since my last post, which was at the end of May, I've been in 3 states, at an elevation of just under 14,ooo ft. ABOVE sea level to 8 ft. BELOW sea level. I did my best all summer long to groom 4 amazing young people for full-time ministry (no matter where they decide to work), we said good-bye to 26 unforgettable seniors, spent a week killing ourselves to get closer to God and each other while hiking CO's highest peaks, spent a week in NOLA where some places have been untouched since Katrina...over 3 yrs ago! Who knows the extent of the new damage now from Gustav. We also did 3 weeks...with NO break worth of camps, several service days, worship times, hanging out, struggling, wrestling, growing, discovering, and maturing.

This summer was a busy one that was worth every minute. my only wish was that my family could have been with me more, but (not so little) Brodee couldn't have survived most of the business and it would have distracted some of the things that happened. The youth staff at my church has spent the last week wondering where April went and we're scratching our heads trying to figure how September got here so fast! Right now were excited as we prayerfully prepare for another year of ministry. We miss those who have graduated but are SO excited about our new crews that have moved up. God did so much last year & it seemed like all we could do is hang on and try to keep our eyes and ears opened. After taking some time to reflect, it looks like all God did was prepare the ground and foundation for some major construction this year and beyond. So I'm anxiously anticipating what's just around the corner...and like a child before Christmas I so desperately wish I could peek!

This year/summer was filled with ups and downs. Calls were made that hurt people in the short-term but helped so much in the long-run. I witnessed incredible acts of service, kindness, love, respect, and saw Jesus in the lives of our students several times; and then there were times where I felt ineffective, alone, and down-right hated. I also experienced personal successes and failures; and quite possibly accepted one of the biggest challenges in my life so far, from a great the most unlikely place. I haven't made do on my challenge yet, It requires a lot of courage and I'm spending time gathering that courage. All I can say is God is big, and when He called me through Decceco this summer it was BIG. By the end it all fit, and the majority of our flock grew...including me, with the rest still sitting and contemplating the choice they have before them (let God groom you or don't).

A couple of new things:
Since leaving Arizona, having a baby, starting new job, buying a house, etc. etc. etc. my body responding in weird ways. So after meeting with my dr. and him telling me that I'm under a lot of expected stress with all that's going on, he suggested running. So that's what I do now and I love it! 4-5 times/week I run roughly 3 miles through the hills around our neighborhood. This exercise is great for my heart and has definitely calmed things down, but I do it more-so for my head and the stress now is all but "gone". So the busyness and stress of this "new" job is all expected and now better managed which has consequently helped my 'performance'.

New thing number two is, I am the father of an almost one-year old!! It's blowing my mind because there is no way this child can be more than 3 months old...not 12!! He's doing so very well and was actually the ring-bearer in my sister-in-laws' wedding last weekend. He almost stole the show until Kecia walked in with Philip...what an incredible moment!

Quick aside:
Kecia (sister-in-law) married Landon (new bro-in-law) Kecia is the Nichols' youngest daughter, so as Philip walked her down the isle, it was a last...the last time Philip and Jan would 'let go', they are officially empty-nesters. And as Philip choked his way through giving away the bride he did something amazing. He announced before a crowd of 300 that it was NOT just, "her mother and I" that gave her away, but God, her family, and everyone else that has worked and been responsible for raising Kecia. It was a tear-filled, joyous moment. And just before that, Kecia stopped the procession at Landon's father's side and she gave him a hug. Just a month or so ago Landon's family suddenly lost their matriarch...Landon's mother, and this day was especially bitter-sweet for Ronnie, Landon's father. He's was doing spectacular until he saw Kecia, then we all lost it as she paused (ON HER DAY) and embraced and comforted her father-in-law, who no doubt was having flashbacks to seeing his bride walk down the isle. It was truly the most beautiful moment of the wedding.

OK...teary stuff over!
Brodee Kade update: He's walking...kinda. As long as he thinks someone is holding his hand, little-bro can almost run, BuuuuuT if you let go, he's not so confident and begins to wobble. He's about 25lbs., half of Neena's height, says momma, dadda, whoa, and can even whistle! He also loves to dance, wave and throw toys. He's into everything, laughs at everything, loves everything. Becuase of Brodee's adventersome spirit he's also learning the word, "No." So far it's proving to be a painful experience for him. For one, he doesn't like to be told no, and when he disobeys the NO, it's followed with a swat on the hand or backside...hince the painful learning. He really is such and incredible little boy, we're so blessed by him and I for one am thankful every moment of the day because I sure do not deserve a family like I have. So I spend my time thanking God and doing my best to keep up with the greatness that is Neena and Brodee.

Now some pictures that cover the past several months. Some of trips, and some of family. Enjoy and I'll do my best to least weekly!