Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Yesterday at the bus stop one of our youth got punched in the face because they grabbed someone by the shoulder to get their attention.  Now our youth was in the wrong for touching someone they don't know very well but who just turns around and starts to whale on someone?  I don't understand what makes people feel like they have the right to hit someone without knowing what exactly is going on.

When I was in Middle School I got punched in the nose.  It was in shop class.  I honestly don't even know what it was I did to get punched.  I didn't instigate it or do anything to rock the boat.  I just remember the kid rearing back and punching me square in the nose.  I then remember standing over the big  metal barrel trash can full of saw dust bleeding.  Both the shop teacher and the gym teacher saw me but neither one of them did anything to help me.  It wasn't till I got home and my mother came to school and took care of things did anyone do anything about it.  Everyone knows what happens when you unleash the wrath of Mom! 

I was pretty shy in school so I didn't say anything to anyone about getting hit so my other teachers probably didn't even realize that anything was wrong. I just dealt with the pain till I got home and told my parents what happened.

I am sure that the boy that hit me had other issues and I wasn't the main problem.  I was just an outlet for his anger and hurt.  I think that is what our youth was as well.  Unfortunately we never know what's going on in people's lives that cause them to react the way they do.  Their reaction may be verbal or it may be physical but 9 times out of 10 you are not the cause of that pain you are just the means to an end.

It is not okay to hit people.  You are not Rocky!  Life is not a boxing match, we are not here to trade physical or verbal punches.  Our youth is a great kid with a loving heart, a joyful spirit, and a caring soul.  He didn't deserve to get punched in the face.

I have to say that I am very proud of our youth for not retaliating.  He got up off the ground and brushed himself off but didn't go after the kid.  That takes more guts and courage than throwing a punch.  Looking a kid in the face after they have caused you pain whether it is physical or verbal pain and then walking away is living into what you believe.  It is showing other what following Jesus in the real world looks like.

Walking with Jesus sometimes means we have to walk away...

Monday, March 16, 2015

g4C unplugged

This past weekend we had the opportunity to go on a retreat to the mountains with the g4C team which is our youth leadership team made up of 7 youth from the youth group.  We had a great time because it was a really laid back weekend without a lot of set plans.  In fact Saturday was so laid back that it got away from us.  In the middle of an activity we realized that it had gotten to be almost 7:00 pm.  The youth really wanted to go to an ice cream shop so we called to ask when they closed and we were told 8:00 pm. 

This normally wouldn't have been a big deal but we hadn't even eaten dinner yet.  We talked about it and we decided that we would have dessert first and come back for dinner.  So down the mountain we went to downtown Boone for ice cream.  It was really good!  After ice cream we headed back to the house.  By this time it was around 8:30pm. 

As I unlocked the door I said to everyone that I wished I had left a light on because it was so dark. I entered the house and flipped the switch but the light didn't come on.  I went down the hall and flipped another switch and that one didn't come on either.  The power was out!

The initial reaction of the youth was your typical horror story reaction, a rainy night in a remote dark mountain house, but before I could even say anything light started to emerge.  A couple of the youth had grabbed candles and started to light them.  The room filled with the soft flickering glow of candle light.  I started a fire in the fireplace and we found a lantern to put in the center of the room.

We sat there for a few minutes and then we decided to play Apples to Apples.  We got close in a circle and made sure everyone understood how to play.

For the next hour and a half we played a board game by candle light in the mountains of North Carolina.  I have been on many retreats and had lots of fun and many spiritual moments but for some reason this one was my favorite.  It was a calming moment where everything felt right and no one was worried about anything.

 I looked around the circle and saw the smiling faces of everyone in the room.  The candle light flickered across each smile briefly swallowing them in shadows only to have them reappear immediately without disguising their happiness. 

I think sometimes we need to just be in the moment.  There are so many distractions in the world that we often forget to just relax and enjoy being with each other.  I wish the power would go off more often so that we would all be forced to relax and do something that doesn't involve TVs, cell phones, video games, etc. 

I hope that you can find some time to unplug and just enjoy your family.  I know that I enjoyed my family on Saturday night.  I would love to have that same feeling again. 

Apples to Apples by candlelight anyone?

Monday, March 2, 2015

20000 Strong!

Today I went over 20000 views of my blog!  Thank you to everyone that reads it, it means a lot to me that you read what I write!  I am by no means a professional but I am humbled by the support that I receive by everyone! 

Thank you so much for reading!