Friday, July 31, 2009

Follow the Leader

Ask yourself this question... if you lost your title, position, and power tomorrow, would others still support you and want to work with you?

I believe the answer to this question is one of the most telling measurements of your effectiveness and ability to lead.

People will go to the ends of the earth for authentic character, passion, and a compelling vision but only to the end of the road for a position. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Violent Basketball

Jeff Houghton, a Springfield talent, was in the right place at the wrong time last night.  At Tuesday night basketball held at Schweitzer UMC, Jeff was going for a rebound, and caught an elbow to face.  A trip to the ER, and a couple stitches later, Jeff was back on his feet.  Thanks for adding some excitement to the night Jeff!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Time Around

I noticed a fascinating detail recently in my read through Exodus.

When Moses brought the first draft of the Ten Commandments down from the mountain, God did all the work.  Exodus 32:16 says that both the inscription and the actual tablets were the work of God.  Apparently, God Himself cut the stones out of the rock and personally hand designed the original tablets.  All Moses had to do was deliver them once he got down the mountain.

Unfortunately, when Moses made it back to the camp, he found the people of God indulging in idolatry.  In his frustration and disbelief, he slammed the stones to the ground.  They shattered on impact.

God summoned Moses back to the mountain for a do-over in Exodus 34:1.  In His mercy and patience, He provided Moses with a Revised Edition of the Ten Commandments.  Only this time, Moses had to chisel the two stone tablets himself.  God would provide the inscription, but this time, Moses would have to do the arduous work of carving the stones.  After all, Moses was responsible for destroying the first set of tablets.  Now he would have to take responsibility for the construction of the new ones.  You break it, you buy it.  Or something like that.

God has a gracious exchange policy.  But sin comes with a steep restocking fee.

When we break the laws of God, He graciously gives second chances. But it's so much easier to do it right the first time around.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009 SUMC H.S. Mission Trip

The youth recently traveled to Somerville, TN for their 2009 Mission Trip.  Watch the video to see what the students were involved with while there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blind Trials Rider

Anything is possible.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 6: GWC

Today was our last day and what a day it was.  By the way, this is Julianne guest blogging for Tim.  The youth started out bright and early to finish their worksites.  After the workday a fire truck came to the school and the youth got to play under the hoses.  During the evening programs the youth were joined by the residents from the homes they were working on.  After a sad time of goodbyes with work crews we went to youth group devotions where we sang and danced for the last time here at camp.   It's been a great time and we are sad to leave but the youth have made a huge impact on the people in Somerville and the other youth at camp.  It's been a blast!

Now get ready cuz we're comin' home!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 5: GWC

(Video: Worship/Dancing at Evening Program)

Day 5 turned out to be a great day of work and fellowship for many students.  We arrived at our work sites around 9am and got back to the school we are staying at around 4pm.  A long, hot, humid day of work, that payed off in the long run.

At my particular work site, our resident's name is Marie.  She is an 86 year old widow.  We have grown to love her humor, grace, and loving nature through out the week.  Today was different though.  Marie likes to sleep a lot during the day.  So, we were taking a break from work, and wanting to talk to Marie, but of course she was asleep.  So, behind her home, in a white shack with blue shutters, a 91 year old man, Mr. Jackson was sitting on his porch watching us work all day.  We decided to walk over and talk to him.  He had a lot to say, even though we could barely understand his words since he had no teeth and talked unbearably fast.  One thing I caught him saying is that:

"Prayer is the key, but faith is what unlocks the door."

After we were done talking with Mr. Jackson and finishing up our day at Marie's home, we went back home to the school we're staying at.  Once we got done with dinner, we had a pretty intense night of worship and program stuff.  The students and chaperones alike were asking for God to free them of items in their life that are holding them back from their relationship with God and blocking their view of the cross.  2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Please be in prayer for the students that are asking God for freedom from certain sins and choices within their lives.  


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 4: GWC

Hey everyone this is Angela and I am guest blogging tonight!  Today was Day 4 of our mission trip and the theme for the day was  revealing "Sight to the Blind".  The students talked about things they are blind to in their lives and back home.  At our youth group devotion we talked about what we want to see happen within our youth group when we return.  We are seeing a lot of spiritual growth within the students and it is awesome! 

We only worked half a day today but most groups were still productive.  After the work day we came back and headed to Beale St in Memphis.  The students got to experience some live music and entertainment while visiting shops.  We then ate at the Hard Rock Cafe where the students were invited to do the YMCA on stage.  We have some talented dancers in our group!  

Thank you so much for your prayers.  The youth are really bonding with each other and the other youth here.  The lives of the youth and the residents of Somerville are being changed and we are having a blast.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 3: GWC

Day 3 is coming to an end.  And I am already exhausted for some reason.

Today, we focused on, "Release for the Captives."  Our work crews read over Acts 8:23 through out the day, and tonight during our nightly program.  At the program, we had an opportunity to release ourselves from what is keeping us captive.  They had all of the students and chaperones at the camp tie our hands together with Zip Ties.  Once we did, there were stations set up around the gymnasium for us to pray at.  There were stations such as Relationships, Technology, Drugs/Alcohol, Sports, Money, Food, and Self Image.  The students were asked to go around to the stations they felt were holding them captive (while their hands were still tied together) and pray for release from their captives.

Once this was finished, we went into our youth group devotional time.  Denny and Zach led us in some worship, and then we discussed our days and the program we had previously. 
It seems as if most of the Schweitzer youth are exhausted already.  Luckily, tomorrow is our "half day" of work, and the second half of tomorrow we will be heading to Beale Street in Memphis, TN for some dinner.

Please be in prayer for the students and the things in their lives that are holding them captive this week.  Please pray for their release while they are here in Somerville, as well as when they arrive back in Springfield to their every day life.

Nighty poo, don't poo in your nighty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 2: GWC

Day 2 is about to be over.  We have 10 minutes before lights out.  And when I say lights out, I mean it.  Our students are so tired after their long days of work, that once their heads hit the pillow, they are out.  Which is nice.

Today was the first day the students headed to their work sites with their crews.  After talking to most of the students, it seems as if most are painting and repairing the outsides of homes.  We have had only good things said about camp so far by the SUMC Youth.  No injuries to report just yet.

Tonight, we ended with the story of the Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-29).  We discussed what it looks like to reveal HOPE for the poor.  The students discussed it in our youth group devotion, as well as discussed what God has revealed to them through their first day on the job.  Zach and Denny did a wonderful job again during our Youth Group Devotion by leading us in worship.  

Overall, Day 2 was a success.  Please keep praying for good health, good weather, good sleep, and positive attitudes as our youth are beginning new friendships.


Day 1: GWC

Day 1 has been complete, and I tried posting this last night, and when I looked today, it wasn't there. So here we go again!

We finished Day 1, and it was a blast. We started the night by having some dinner with our youth groups. The camp made us burgers, fries, salad, hot dogs, etc. for dinner. After dinner, we went strait to our nightly program. This is where we met our teams we will be working with all week. None of our youth are with each other at their sites. Therefore, all of our youth are working with complete strangers. They are making friends, and loving it so far.

We ended our night with a youth group devo. Our group started with a ice breaker, and then a name game since we all didn't know each other coming into this trip. After that, we had some great worship led by Zach and Denny Reeves, and then discussion about the night we were having. So far, this has been a great trip.

Make sure you keep in prayer our youth, their personal energy and emotions through out this week, the residents we are serving, the weather, the safety of our crews, etc.!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mission Trip: Trip To Somerville

It is official, we have made it to Somerville, TN!  It is a very rural town.  Mostly farms.  We arrived at Fayette High School around 1:30pm, and unloaded into our rooms.  We are all staying in classrooms within the high school.  Boys are upstairs, and girls are in the basement.  The school is air conditioned which is nice, because it is very very humid outside.  

As you can tell, there is WiFi set up here in the school, so I will be updating you every night from Somerville, with pictures and/or video.  Check back tonight, and there might be some more pictures to let you know how the rest of the night went.

See you soon Springfield!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tomorrow morning, at 6am, the Schweitzer High School youth will be leaving Springfield to tend to people's needs and spread the Gospel in Somerville, TN.  We are going through Group Work Camps.  

As long as there is WiFi in or around the area we are staying in Somerville, I will be updating the blog with pictures and/or video.  Check back to see what is new in Somerville.

Be in PRAYER for the students as we travel, work, share the gospel, and make new friends this next week!