27.6.09

august 6th

the haunting reality of august is finally setting in. on august 6th my contract will end with student life and i will again be thrust into my task-oriented, ambition-driven life.
id rather not.
id rather stay in a place i know im called to be. id rather remain here, in this ever-changing location, void of the standards that decide our success. here, where God works through our humility not our pursuit of petty treasures.
i know that i dont want to continue to let this world render me bankrupt. my resources are meant for more than the profit of sinners.
i could continue the carpentry. i do like the Jesus-like qualities there.



22.6.09

dont get your hopes up mom.

am i really meant to be in the constant state of romanticism i find myself in?

i mean, im not reading romance novels by a fireplace in my pjs, but i do think about it. i have for some time now.

the question is, does He perpetually put people of interest in my life to occupy my time and affections, or do i create these divine gifts out of my own rosy imagination?

this must be one of the most difficult emotions to decipher, the crush.

divine or not, returning the innocent smiles that flash through the heavy fog of perfect tension may be the one of the greatest experiences one can have.

now im sure if youre reading this youre thinking that this is a current issue in my life (dont get your hopes up, mom, this has been on my brain for a while)


18.6.09

two paragraph teaser

today is one of those days that i really want to write. to process all that i have experienced, heard, and done. its been a full day.
full of hard work, stress, joy, encouragement, and bit of frustration. but im not sure if this is the proper medium to exchange these thoughts. i dont want this to become a open forum diary, so i think ill keep the unrefined thoughts to myself. ill just dangle them in front of you guys who care in a two paragraph teaser.
we are at the close of another week of camp. tomorrow we will leave the intensely dry heat of san angelo, texas and move eastward to the sweaty mess that is louisiana. its been a good week. my job is slowing down due to an ever-improving rec staff.
the ongoing saga with the feeble topple boards (one of our rec games) continues. ill be fixing them for the thousandth time before next camp, but i think i has finally found the solution. i also have a new nemesis. we had two girls hurt on our game with stilts. one of which ended in a hospital visit, the other created a furious father and caught the attention of the higher-ups around here. lets just hope this isnt a reoccurring phenomenon.


14.6.09

heres to rick

last week i had the privilege of meeting a wise man. when he first walked into the quaint, mountain-side, building that we were using for our youth minister registration i wrote him off as the stereotypical youth minister, hell-bent on making students like him regardless of his age. he wore a baggy baseball jersey, tucked in, with 1980's length khaki shorts, long socks and sneakers. his face showed his age in wrinkles and colorless beard. part of his mouth hung slightly lower than the other side, possibly a health issue in his past was to blame.
he, like many who have some before him that i have, so judgingly, lumped into a stereotype, made his way in to the building greeting and talking with everyone in sight. as he approached me he made eye contact and began to introduce himself rather matter-of-factly.
his voice didnt seem to match his rough and worn body. it was meeker than i would have guessed. it was difficult to distinguish his accent, but it was clearly different. i now believe it was somewhere in between an accent and a speak impediment, likely in related to the possible health problem i alluded to before.
we exchanged names and hometowns as i escorted him in to be registered. aztec, nm was his home and has been for some time now. i recognized he didnt fully fit my initial analysis, but i wasnt too impressed until the following night.
every night of camp at 6 oclock we host a youth ministers meeting. on this night the director was asking the ministers what they wanted to see God do that week. there was an array of answers but only one stood out to me. not that others didnt seem important to me, or that im looking to be impressed by the prayers of men, but this mans answer, to me, showed wisdom.
he was looking for God to grow him. in a room full of extreme unselfishness, he was asking God to move in his life. he shared that he had been doing youth ministry since 1983 and one thing he had learned was that in order for God to move in the lives of his students, God had to be working in his own life. it was simple, profound, and true to my experiences.
i had other opportunities to speak with him throughout the week; he was nothing but encouraging. i guess i just dont want to forget that experience, so im making this record of it. heres to rick the youth minister.

ryan

12.6.09

so good

so i just left the most ridiculously fun staffer social i could have imagined. after every week of camp we have a small get together with the volunteer staffers. a small token of our gratitude for the work they do with us. usually these things are, well, pretty lame to be perfectly honest. we only have a 30 dollar budget. but this week it was magic.
the band offered to buy pizza; awesome. we also used the conveniently located skating rink behind the worship room. disco ball, limbo, couples skate, races. enough said.
now im trying to avoid packing my stuff. we leave tomorrow afternoon, headed for texas. it will be quite a climate shock though. its been in the 50's with wind chill in the 40's and raining all week here in estes park colorado. san angelo, texas... in the 100's. i think thats how you get pneumonia.
tonight greg matte spoke a simple truth that hit me pretty hard in his sermon. "He chose you." i like the simple stuff that God uses to show His love.
dad called me today. it was right in the middle of rec, but i could tell it was important. sarah, a girl that has been attending our church and i have had on my heart for some time, is no longer lost in this world. my dad was able to point her to Jesus this morning during her unprecidented visit to his office. so good.

8.6.09

estes park, co


this could easily be the most beautiful place i have ever been to in my life.
ill try to paint a picture for you. the descent into the city after a breathtaking, 30 minute, winding, and twisting, drive of crescendoing beauty, you come down into a valley with a huge lake and the most amazing mountains the Rockies have to offer. the mountains are still snow covered, though its the middle of june, and believe it or not it snowed on us during our load in. intense snow.the city of estes park is a tourist landmine. the town itself is littered with shops and restaurants that scream western culture.
this morning i woke up around 5:30, still disoriented from the 2 time changes ive experienced in the last 3 days. i sat up in my bed and looked out the huge window and saw something i have never seen before. so there i am, in a matter of seconds, out of my bed standing at the window in my underwear, telling my roommate to get up. 5 elk were grazing 5 feet from our porch. ive never seen such an animal to close, not to mention the incredible backdrop that was provided as the icing on the cake. You are a good God.
in typical colorado fashion, The Centennial State casually and effortlessly puts the rest of the nation in their places. a natural beauty where any given square mile is exponentially more dramatic and awe inspiring than its neighbors. time to shower and get warm for a very strange registration day with student life camps.

6.6.09

limon not limon

we finally made it to colorado. today has been full of driving and thinking. good times. saw an incredible sunset for the last 2o minutes of our 12 hour journey today. got challenged by a david platt audio sermon. and wrestled with my recently injured neck, definitely did something significant. i miss my dog, macks, and friends. although i know that this is precisely where im supposed to be. tomorrow we load into the ymca of the rockies in estes park, co. and so begins week two.