1 comments Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I have setup a new blog. I have automatic forwards setup and I'm transferring my feedburner feed to the other blog. If you are following me on blogger you will want to subscribe to the rss feed. I am working on making the transition as fluid as possible.

I am making this change because my ideas are spreading well beyond my experience as a youth pastor. I have so many other topics and Wordpress offers a much better system for organizing everything into a logical format.

The new blog is at NickGeek.com

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I remember the movie "What about Bob?" If you haven't seen that movie or don't remember it then you might want to watch this clip.


Bob is completely neurotic but is learning to change with "baby steps." Of course he doesn't get it and this leads to some seriously stupid funny.

The thing is, grumbling and complaining doesn't usually start big. I'm betting that they didn't go from "Yeah, God is giving us food from Heaven" to "Manna again!?!?!? I'd rather eat me shoes than eat mana one more time" overnight. No it started small. Someone woke up and said "manna is nice, but I gotta say I'd like some meat to go with it." He said that to himself a few times before he said it to someone else. Now he could have gone to Moses or whoever was setup over him in the system Moses setup but he started talking to someone else. That person was pretty happy to be eating food God setup for him every morning but he politely listened and maybe even tried to offer some words of advice and encouragement. After a few days of hearing the complaints he got tired of it but also started thinking that the manna was starting to taste a bit bland. Suddenly a virus of complaints took over and everyone was infected with dissatisfaction.

That's the problem. We don't see it till it's too late because every step is a baby step. A handful of people are upset that something in the church isn't quite right and a year later there is a church split because they didn't talk to the pastor. They love the pastor and don't want to offend him, or maybe they fear his anger. Whatever they know they can't tell the pastor but they can't keep it in. The grumbling begins to spread until people start to leave. That starts the rip and BAM church split.

Tonight I learned that one of my leaders told someone about something they heard … which has now come back to me. It isn't directly about me, but ultimately it is. Now this apparently had been said a couple times before it got back to me and my problem isn't that this person is wrong. They are right, but why didn't they come to me directly? I've had this happen before with this person and a while back this person complained about the pastor to me. Nothing big but I told them to take it to the pastor.

Jesus and Paul both dealt with this and both said to go to the source first. That is the only way to resolve a situation.

Is there something about your pastor or church you are frustrated about? Have you talked to the people that can make a difference? Have you let idle words infect others? Am I overreacting?

Comments Tuesday, December 1, 2009

black hole of my heartHonestly I don't know that I would choose to write on grief. I try to have fun and keep things light unless I need to vent, but I struggle with depression and feelings of self-doubt. That is one of the reasons I avoid writing on subjects like grief. I did write a post about my deepest grief once. It is also my greatest testimony that I call being taken from the black hole.

This year had brought quite a bit of grief to myself and dear friends and family. My grandmother died on my mother's birthday this year. I don't know if I would survive that. I was asked to speak at the funeral and that was the hardest speaking experience I have ever had.

Grief speaks of loss, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what the loss really is. I grieved my grandma, but I never really knew her. I think I grieved no knowing her and never getting that opportunity more than losing her. I was raised in the military so I might have seen her an average of one week a year. My dad's mother died when he was a boy and my mom's dad died when I was a boy. I met my dad's dad like 3 times in my life for a total of a few hours. He died 3 years ago. When my grandma died I also lost my history. I have friends with great grandparents they knew and spent time with regularly. I felt like my anchor had been pulled up leaving me adrift.

When I think of grief my head spins, because you can't really feel grief unless you are attached. The problem is we tend to be attached by many threads so when those threads are cut the grief is amplified because it comes from too many directions.

I don't like to write about grief because it reminds me of all those severed threads, but it also serves to remind me that when the world is spinning out of control that there is a rock that doesn't move.

Comments Monday, November 30, 2009

OK I imagine there are many things better, but it is amazing for so many reasons.

As a quick food

Peanut butter is a great quick meal. You can eat it with a spoon right out of the jar if you are really pressed for time, but it doesn't take long to have peanut butter and cracker, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or my favorite peanut butter and honey sandwiches. This brings me to my next point.

Tastes great with other foods

We all know about the classic PB&J and also the somewhat different peanut butter and banana. There is also the previously mentioned peanut butter and honey. In my opinion PB&H is the second best combination of all time. The only thing better than honey mixed with peanut butter is peanut butter and chocolate. I imagine that that discovery is responsible for a significant portion of my battle with weight. Preventing these two super powers from entering my house has helped me begin winning that battle.

It is crunchy or creamy

Sort of like "sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you don't." There are times when you want the smooth, creamy peanut butter but there are also times you want to feel the crunch of bits of unbuttered peanuts.

Highly Entertaining

What's that? Peanut butter can be entertaining? How does that work? Well, if you love animals but also love humor then feed your dog some peanut butter. They love the taste and it is safe, but it gets up on the roof of their mouth resulting in a very entertaining attempt to remove it.

I could go on and on, but trust me on this, if you aren't allergic then you should eat some peanut butter. If you are worried about added sugar and other stuff you can always get all natural. Honestly I prefer the taste myself.

This post has been brought to you as a dare from @VariantVal

Comments Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yesterday I mostly wrote about a group that I facilitated in an ethics workshop. I was told by someone that they were frightened at how callous the girls were. I will say that this group was a bit harsh but there were a couple that didn't go with the group decision. They just didn't stand up for their opinion very strongly. More importantly there were some really cool opinions from other groups.

One story in particular was a young lady that I noticed right away. She dressed so that people would see here. Not in the slutty way but in the 8 inch tall Mohawk and all the cloths you would expect to go with that hair style. Most of the students were dressed up a bit because they were told to dress nice. I had hoped she would be at my table but I wasn't so fortunate. I know we aren't supposed to judge books by their covers, but I tend to read people. In this case I read correctly and she would have made a great addition to the group. It seems her personality would have pushed the group to think about their decisions more carefully.

On the question about a friend that was on steroids she got up to speak for her group as a whole. After introducing herself as "Anarchy" (later I learned that her name is Anna so the rchy is tagged on ... I guess she spells it Annarchy?), she laid down more strongly than anyone else that it isn't cool to let a friend do something destructive like that. At one point she said "I'd rather lose our friendship than to lose a friend." That is powerful and the kind of person I want to see in my youth group. Maybe that is why they call us the freak show, but they don't know what is inside.

Anyways, I also wanted to say it was cool being there and having so many people there that recognized me. Only two of my students were there but a couple dozen teens walked up and talked to me at some point. There were people I've met through various things I've been involved with. Very cool to see I'm getting to know so many of the students and they are getting to know me.

Back to my original point. Yes, we have a lot of self centered students, but we also have some really amazing ones even if they don't look like we expect.

Comments Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last week was crazy busy but also lots of fun. I loved almost everything I did including officiating my first wedding. I want to write about the wedding but I'm trying to see if I have some video or at least pictures for post with it. In the mean time let me share about two other things I did. Tuesday I was at a sectional lunch with other ministers. I've really liked what we are doing with the new section. We have been getting together once a month and fellowshipping. Much better than how things were going with the previous section.

Of course this probably sounds pretty boring, and to people on the outside it probably is so I'm going to move on to one of the more interesting things I did last week.

There was a Chamber of Commerce sponsored event last week called the "Ethics Workshop." The seniors from both high schools are required to attend. They are assigned random tables and each table has a facilitator. I was a volunteer facilitator. Last year the table I was at spent a good deal of the off time discussing some really … interesting? … stuff. The kind of stuff that you don't normally talk about in front of other people, much less an adult. They about died at the end of the event when one finally asked what I did. This year I was at a table composed entirely of girls. That is just unreal.

They were faced with 4 ethical dilemmas and had to vote on what their decisions would be. The first was a pretty straight forward choice where they had to decide who would receive a liver based on the available information. They chose the patient that had the largest family and would likely live the longest. Unintentionally they based their decision on the most good for the greatest number of people. This is generally viewed as an excellent mode for making ethical decisions. After that things got generally disturbing. Most of them started voting based on what affected them the least. When presented with the option of narcing on a friend using steroids most choose to say nothing. Another scenario involved a cousin joining a gang and planning an armed robbery of a store that some friends work at. The group felt it was wise to tell their friends but no one else. The friends should just go into work and play along so no one got hurt.

The final scenario was based on a real story. They were going up Everest and near the peak the find a man with no gear sitting near a shear drop of several thousand feet who greats them with "I bet you're surprised to see me here." The group generally decided to leave the guy. Some felt they might try to call for help and even leave some oxygen. One said she would try to help him back down. I offered another solution that they felt was atrocious. I said that leaving him to die slowly was immoral so either help him down or end it quickly with a small push. I find it interesting that they are willing to let the man die but won't go out of their way to help him or end it quickly.

I think this generally represents much of our culture. People don't want others involved and don't want to get involved. We are happy to sit back and let thousands, and even millions die so long as it doesn't affect us directly. I think that is much of what drives "pro choice," and more importantly why we ignore genocides all around the world but push for war when we are attacked only to change our minds once the war lasts longer than our outrage.

By the way, in the real event the man was abandoned for dead by his group because he was ill and threatening the rest of the group. They had reported him dead the previous day. Earlier that day several other groups avoided him including one that passed near and pretended to only speak French. One group abandoned their quest for the peak and helped him back to camp where he received medical attention and survived to tell the tale. Left by his own, ignored and deceived, on the brink of death, and then saved by someone at a price. That's what it means to be a neighbor and what we are called to do. I wonder how many "Christians" passed this guy up?

On an unrelated note, I posted a sermon on my sermon blog. You should check it out. WAKE UP!

Comments Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So this week I am officiating my first wedding. I am really looking forward to this but I'm also very nervous. I really want the couple to work out but there isn't any way for me to ensure that beyond counseling and Godly encouragement and prayer. Having done all of that I think the most important thing is to geek out the rehearsal and revel in the geek wedding that could have been.

First and foremost you must know that I was asked because of who I am and not the title I hold. Any happenings that happen will be done with utmost respect to the sanctity of the union and the couple who will be joined in marriage.

That said, I will be reenacting the wedding scene from the Princess Bride during the rehearsal. This is a must. If you are not familiar with the scene please watch the clip. If you are familiar with it you will want to watch anyways because it is amazing.


Now that is about geek level one. It isn't enough. I'll be meeting with the bride today to discuss the vows and order of service. I'm hoping she'll go with some of my suggestions. Let me know what you think?

Star Wars



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Klingon


 

All out Geek