Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Weekly Wrap.

The past few days have been this really odd turning and twisting path of thoughts and emotions. I've simultaneously had some of the most fun times ever in Charlotte as well as some of the more lonely times as well. For starters I've worked a good amount this week and am even getting ready to head into work today at 1. It's a nice short shift today, as we're only open until 5 on the weekends so I'm looking forward to making plans for the rest of the evening as well. In case you're wondering, I think I'm going to do some laundry, play the guitar, and depending on the temperature outside go for a run. I'm pretty excited to get after these things and wish I didn't have to work so I could do them now. (Obviously I want to watch the Bengals beat the Browns as well, but I suppose I have to go get paid to pour coffee...)

Anyways, back to this week.

Sunday, a week ago, my friend Brandon came into town from VT and it's always good to hang with him. We often joke about being the same person, and in too many instances it's proven to be true. Well we went to the Bobcats game with a large group of my guy friends here in C-town and it was a blast. We saw Michael Jordan, UNC coach Roy Williams waved to us, and we goofed with Rufus the Bobcat...who wears wrap around shades. Rufus is awesome. Then Willie got us lost getting home, and I'm not sure I've laughed more in my life. Dinner afterwards, a great time. It was just fun to hang out with a bunch of guys, and have it have the feel of being back in Columbus.

Monday we were supposed to have club, but that didn't end up happening because there was a conflict with a home AK basketball game. In hindsight though it was amazing time with the few kids that were there for Jaclyn, Courtney, and myself. My time chilling with Madden was great. That kid is the man.

Tuesday I worked, but then later that night my buddy DC introduced me and some other friends to a great little indie coffee shop called Amalie's in NoDa. We had a blast.

Wednesday I worked, and was supposed to be the Caribou mascot but definitely pawned that off on someone else who ended up almost passing out because of how hot the suit was. Excellent choice by me, and hey don't get upset; the other guy actually wanted to do it! Wednesday night I had dinner with a great committee family and really enjoyed my time with them. Just another great blessing from our adults.

Thursday was interesting. Because of work I wasn't able to head home for this great eating holiday. I definitely missed my family, especially because of the makeup of family that was going to be together at our house for the first time on Thanksgiving. My brother and his family came over and I haven't seen them in almost a year now, since last Christmas Eve. It'll be exactly one year between us seeing each other unfortunately. I was incredibly blessed to have dinner with three families all together and have a great time in doing so. Of course it wasn't my mom or aunt's cooking, but it was still fantastic and a wonderful substitute for being home.

Friday was more work, and then really nothing but Friday was for whatever reason the most difficult of the days surrounding Thanksgiving. I got really homesick while at work thinking about all my friends who were hanging out together back in Ohio. Fortunately I was able to talk with some friends on the phone that night and they really encouraged me and reminded me that they even still love me.

Saturday I worked a little bit, then napped. Naps are wonderful, are they not? After the nap though, I headed up to Huntersville to hang out with Ashley and some of her friends and roommates. It was an incredible time because we all hung out playing games for about 9 hours straight. I had more fun than I've had in a long time just being with people. I met about 10 new friends and it was just so encouraging to be hanging out with a whole new crowd of people. I sincerely hope I get to hang out with all of them again soon.

So that's my week. Now you know. I liked this post because so often I feel like I have to come up with some profound revelation in my life about Christ or ministry to write an entry on here but that isn't true at all. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that you're getting your Christmas shopping done.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I know I have a ton of things to be thankful for. Everyone always challenges people to stop on this day and weekend before all the craziness of Christmas begins to think about what and who they are thankful for. So I'm going to do that, and of course I'll challenge anyone who reads this to do the same...

Jesus Christ, my savior. The Cross.

My family - Mom, Dad, Jerod and fam, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces. Mammaw. My friends. Comets {ctid}. Golden Bears. Knights. Buckeyes. Young Life. Hofmann. Lake Champion. Committee. Charlotte. God's provision. God's love. God's mercy. God's grace. God's word. God's power. God's sovereignty. My faith. Material things. America. Those who have gone before me. Those who will come after me.

The more I write on here, the more I realize that I have to be thankful for and that I couldn't possibly list all of the things that exist.

Praise be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen, and thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This world is not our home?

Every time that I fail to write in my blog for an extended period of time, I feel as though I should apologize. I just decided that I'm not going to do that anymore. Now that's we've gotten that out of the way...

It's really weird as I sit here contemplating what to write about my recent experiences here in Charlotte, there is a sense of this all being temporary. Granted there are still a couple boxes in my room that remain unpacked, and pictures still to be hung on the walls and whatnot. I don't think those are signs of me wanting this to be temporary but more a testament to my amazing ability to collect things that at one point I think I'll need and use a lot in the future but never end up doing anything with them. Regardless of those things though, there is this weird feeling in me though that perhaps because I'm still learning my way around, perhaps because everything has happened so fast, perhaps because there's eventual truth in it; but that eventually I am going to be leaving Charlotte. Now I feel like I must say this next statement with absolute clarity: I have no plans in my own head of leaving Charlotte. I love the city and what God has called me to do here.

I just thought I would throw that thought out there. What brings on such a feeling of "for now"? I wish I knew the answer, but I really have no experience delving into such an issue before now.

Other than that, Young Life at Ardrey Kell has been up and down but that's just from a numbers standpoint. I think my wonderful co-leader Jaclyn and I would agree that the building of relationships with kids and the deepening of those relationships is going great and that we look forward to and eagerly anticipate times when we can further our relationships with the high schoolers. A few guys in particular that if you read this you want to pray for that I'm really connecting with: Mike, Max, Luke, Madden, Myles. (Lots of M names...weird)

Overall though, God is good. Moving my whole life to Charlotte is the most difficult thing I have ever done but in such a good way. It is stretching my faith in Christ so much, and I am learning about His character and His love and His provision in crazy new ways. I love it so much, seriously. That doesn't take away from how difficult it is though.

I definitely feel like a missionary...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Ordinary.

I must again beg for apologies that it's been a few weeks since I've updated my blog. Things have been crazy down here, but overall been amazing. It has been funny though, I've actually sat down to start writing an entry or an email to close friends multiple times over the past three weeks but just never finished them because I just never felt like I had something to say. I have since been reminded though that we don't just have to share on God's faithfulness in the valleys or the mountaintop moments, but rather that His grace extends to us and if fully evident in the mundane and the routine.

So here goes, a bit of the ordinary...

Young Life at Ardrey Kell has been up and down over the past couple weeks but mainly up. God's continuing to do great things there and through our team. One huge praise is just how my co-leaders and I have really begun to be united. Love it. As far as the things of YL go, club has been going alright as kids have been up and down with their energy and involvement. One battle I go through with that, is that I don't think the kids know that they can trust us yet as leaders and so we are still earning the trust that A.) we won't put them in truly embarrassing situations and B.) we are just as willing to make ourselves fools for Christ. The kids don't truly know what club looks like down here and so that will be a continual process that is both fun and frustrating. Campaigners has been going decently, with a whole group of freshmen guys coming around, yet none of them are coming to Club. There is literally one senior girl who comes to both, and she's a pastor's kid; so you know haha. As far as deepening relationships with guys though, it continues to be both exciting and frustrating as most of this ministry ends up being. There are a couple junior and sophomore guys that I've really been connecting with and so I'm looking to just further those relationships and see what God can do there.

Work at Caribou has been absolutely mundane. It's the easiest job one could ever do. It allows me some pretty good flexibility with my schedule, but really it's just a job. Not one that I really enjoy, but I am thankful that I have it for sure.

It's been great to be a part of the intern group in the Carolinas Region, and get to hang out with Steve Gardner again. I've made some great friends already through and from the staff and I'm really looking forward to continuing to get to know them and work alongside of them, hopefully for a long time. It's really challenged me to be in a room of such sharp people and has pushed me to do what I do better and to look for ways to improve what I do; realizing though that ultimately it's God who makes it go or not and that it is His work that He merely allows us to be a part of. For that, I am thankful.

That's all for now...hopefully some more in the next couple days as I'm processing some thoughts I've been having.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Be strong and courageous.

In following up with the last post from last week...I didn't pack my things up and move back to Ohio. I was in Ohio this past weekend, but I hadn't moved back. Just fyi. Ya know.

Last week at club, it was absolutely amazing. I was petrified for the first time in a long time to give a club talk. Alright that's a lie...I was petrified to give my last one at CCHS, but that's because I didn't want to cry during it. This was different though, because these kids don't know me, and for that matter because I've only been around a couple weeks they have no real reason to desire to hang out with me or even listen to me. The kids at CCHS know me and I know they care about me in return for my care for them. Usually I wouldn't let a new leader give a club talk for some time after they start leading at a school but in this situation I suppose it really isn't an option. In fact, for those keeping score at home and who will truly understand the gravity of this next statement: I'm giving 4 more talks, those being a Need, Sin, Cross, and Appropriations. Yikes. Better hope I earn the right to be heard before I tell kids they're going to hell because of their choice to sin and not follow Christ. Oh well. But back to my original statement, guys were flocking to me like they haven't before after a club talk. Conversations were had off of that. Phone numbers were exchanged, hang outs were planned, God was showing how if He wants something to happen it truly will happen. And when it does, y'all better look out. Loved it.

This past week...freaking horrible; in my opinion at least. Music didn't go well, no one wanted to sing, no one seemed to care about the games, and stuff with guys definitely did not go how I wanted it to especially given the extraordinary strides made after last week. I wanted to quit, I wanted to pull the plug on AKYL, I wanted to move back to Ohio. Basically I wanted to take the easy route, and no more was it  tempting than after having an amazing weekend back in my home state, then a crappy club, and feeling absolutely inadequate as a leader.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." ~ Romans 8:18

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 8:35-39

Take those verse in if you're reading this, and especially if you are being discouraged through things going on around you and the situation that you are in. "Be strong and courageous."

Looking back on this post, it isn't exactly what I had set out to write, but it certainly is what I need to continue to preach to myself and I know that whoever is reading this will take encouragement from such powerful verses.

"Be strong and very courageous."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That Borden kid was onto something...

Read the story of William Borden. Then return to your regularly scheduled reading of CRASH. 

Done? Good.

Let me tell the middle of the game on Friday, I wanted to turn around, drive back to my house, pack all my things, and retreat back to Columbus, Ohio. Yup. I really wanted to pull the plug on the whole dang thing right then and there. Somewhere though, in the midst of my despair, I remembered this story. Obviously the song by Needtobreathe helped as well, like I already posted about, but the words written in the back of William Borden's bible rung in my ears.

No reserves. No retreat. No regret.

And they didn't just ring for Friday night, they stayed there Saturday, and Sunday, and thru today while I was putting the finishing touches on the club talk I was giving at the 3rd AK club of the year. 3 weeks ago I was fighting back tears at my last talk at Central Crossing, and now I was being thrown into the fire. It's what I asked for, isn't it? I mean I'm the guy who went to the AK football game less than 24 hours after I got into town with all my stuff.

So there really is no other option out there, other than to get rid of the reserves. Even Christ tells His disciples in Luke 9 when He sends them out that they need to take nothing with them. Good enough for me. After that, I already talked with so many people about the point of no return that I experienced in last club at CC. With a point of no return, obviously comes not being able to retreat. Any thoughts of that are foolish, and are weak attempts by the devil to distract me from my calling. Now I have to seize the attitude and spirit of being one who is already dead; dead to the world, dead to myself, dead to my desires, dead to my reputation, dead to sin. I am alive in Christ, I am made alive because of Him who died. There can be no room now for regret, because if I am going with God I am going with the ruler and creator of the entire universe. He's got my back, and therefore I can step out in faith time after time after time when it comes to sharing Him with kids at Ardrey Kell High School.

So in the immortal words of the's time to "open the gates, and seize the day!" (Man I love that song...and movie.)

Carpe diem.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Outsiders.

"Shortfalls and little sins
Close calls where no one wins
Stand tall but running thin
I'm wearing thin
Oh, why are we keeping score?

'Cause if you're not laughing
Who is laughing now?
I've been wondering if this starts sinking
Would we stand our ground?
After everything we've learned,
We've finally come to terms;
We are the outsiders.

I'm not leaving without a fight
I've got my holsters around my sides
Just cause I'm wrong that don't make you right,
It's not right.
Oh, what are we fighting for?

'Cause if you're not laughing
Who is laughing now?
I've been wondering if this starts sinking
Would we stand our ground?
After everything we've learned,
We've finally come to terms;
We are the outsiders."

When I got down here to Charlotte, I was very fortunate to be able to move into a house that for a while has been guys in their mid-20's, all Followers of Christ, and some associated with Young Life as current leaders or previous leaders while in college. It's interesting because it's kind of like the graduated, Charlottean (like that?) version of The Brickhouse at Ohio State where I lived for so many years. Anyways, it's been absolutely fantastic living with these four guys so far and I've really enjoyed getting to know all of them. 

Shout out to Bill, Tanner, Matt, and Justin. You guys rock.

Well, soon after I got down here to Charlotte Tanner introduced me to this group called Needtobreathe. I had heard of them before, but I'm pretty sure I had never heard of any of their songs. One day while driving around and showing me cool places Tanner had them on in the car and I fell in love with their sound. Well what do you know, there was a concert coming up just a week away that wasn't sold out! It was at a small venue called The Visualite (don't ask, don't know), and there were a bunch of people in their (my new) group of friends that were going to dinner and then the concert. Well who am I to turn down a good time with a cool group of people? Especially when I need friends...

I get a ticket, head to dinner with everyone, and then go to what turns out to be one of the absolute best concerts of my entire life. This band really knows how to entertain, unabashedly love the Lord, and on top of that they are ridiculously talented musicians. Drums, lead guitar/banjo, bassist who everyone develops a man-crush on, keyboardist, and of course the lead vocalist who really has a great voice. Without going into a ton of detail (ask me and I'll tell you more) I was blown away by them, and had a great time with everyone that I went with. Fun fact: I was one of two guys amidst about 10 beautiful and amazing Jesus-loving Southern women. Boo yah. 

Well you might be wondering why I put the lyrics to "The Outsiders", which is the title track off their similarly named newest album at the beginning of the post. As you know, I'm leading Young Life at Ardrey Kell HS in southern Charlotte. It's a far cry from Central Crossing, mainly because I at CCHS I could walk around the grounds, the halls, any event at the school, and be known. It felt like I truly knew every kid in the school even though we all know that's near impossible. That was the feeling I would get. I knew I belonged there, I knew I was called there, I knew that I could be quite bold in ministry and getting to know new kids. Maybe more importantly, I knew I was "in" there.

Last night I went to AK's homecoming football game, where we defeated the Myers Park Mustangs where Justin Robillard and Steve Gardner both lead. Big stuff. Unless you count that MP has only won one game this year. Anyways...even though I've met a decent amount of kids through club the past two weeks and have met some parents as well, I walked around that game in a daze. I can't say I was overwhelmed, because high school kids that need Jesus are the same everywhere. No one can ever argue that with me. However, for the first time in a long time I felt like an "outsider". Not only did I feel like one, I am one. The more I started to think about that fact, the more I know it was good for me to move. Doesn't take away how difficult it was to leave my Comets {ctid}, but I know that I need to feel like this. As a follower of Christ, I am not someone who is "in" with the world or what they do. I am "in" with the God of the universe, but to this world I am definitely an outsider. 

So I'm definitely laughing at the foolishness of the world, I know that even if things start sinking I'll still stand my ground. I will not leave AK without a fight, I didn't leave CC without a fight. A fight for the souls of high school kids. I might be wearing thin right now, but I'll stand tall and I'll stand in the gap for these kids. I've finally come to terms with being an Outsider; and I'm excited. 


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Well here I am...almost a week into this new adventure in Charlotte, North Carolina. First off I want to say welcome to my new way of doing things in that you won't ever have to make a trip (it's like two clicks of the mouse but who's counting?) to my blog in order to feel connected and be able to read what's going on! From now on, my posts will be sent straight to your email if you like! Also, if there's anyone out there reading this that wants to be added to that list just let me know your email address and I'll add you lickety split!

Onto the more pressing matters...I realize that it's been seemingly forever since I last wrote a post. This is due to many factors, most all related to the craziness of packing my life and moving it to a place I've been once. This journey has already been quite eye-opening to my walk with Christ and yet I have absolutely loved it because it has drawn me so close to Him...closer than I ever have been. I'm so encouraged and excited to see what God does in me and through me during this whole process.

Right now I just want to leave a couple small points with y'all (I can say that now! I live in the south!) of things about this move. Don't worry though, I'll expand on them soon...

1.) Leaving the ministry at Central Crossing was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my entire life. When I think about my Comets, there's times when I doubt what I did in moving. Also though, I'm encouraged by the relationships that were built and knowing that it was never me or about me, and God will continue to work through the incredible team there.

2.) I love the weather down here, and Ohio weather sucks. That pretty much goes without saying.

3.) I have been placed at Ardrey Kell High School, which is a school of about 2,000 kids and with quite well off families. The school itself is only starting it's 4th year of existence but club work has been going on for about a year. I am quite encouraged in what is going on at this high school and can't wait to regale you with stories of the Lord's work there.

4.) The people down here are so far incredible. Everyone has been welcoming and friendly and I've enjoyed lots of hospitality. My roommates are great guys and I feel blessed to live where I do.

That's about all for now. I've got to get ready and head out to my first Campaigners down here!

If I have ever in my life felt like a is these past few weeks. I love it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So I know that it's been quite some time since I last updated on here, and again I do apologize. There were things being sorted out in my life that I didn't want to broadcast just yet. Now I can do that though...

In just over a week I'm packing up my life in Ohio and moving down to Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm pretty excited for this development in my life, and yet obviously insanely nervous and scared about the whole thing. There are many details that are nailed down, and yet there are a ton that still have to be decided and figured out. I'm still working on where exactly I'll be living, but I have my work transfer for Caribou in the works, as well as where I'm leading narrowed down. Life is just crazy right now as I say goodbyes, but also am still fully involved in my life here in Columbus with leading at Central Crossing and whatnot.

I have so many things to talk about when it comes to this whole process, but I don't have the time right now. So for now, I will leave you with this, but with the promise of more either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's my hobby?

Apparently it's weddings. Some friends of mine were apparently talking about what they do as hobbies and such. Things on the side, ya know? Well somehow my name came up; as in: "Well you like to play intramural sports, Chad goes to weddings."

Well this past weekend that was fairly true, as Friday night I went camping for Kevin McIntyre's bachelor party. It was a great time filled with a lot of laughs.

Saturday then was the nuptials of Joe Arnold and Katie Hudson, and it was filled with just about everyone I knew it seemed like. This was definitely a fun wedding, and possibly one of the tops. The food was great, the hanging out was awesome, the dancing was good times. The afterparty at the Varsity Club was fantastic. (The best part of that may have been the friend who last night asked me if I was there when I was sitting two seats away from this person at the VC and we had lots of conversation...)

Sunday was a great day, filled with more times of greatness with people. Went to church and lunch with Kacie and I always love spending time with her. Then Brad and I hung out, definitely one of my best friends. After that I went straight to a team meeting that saw our team together for the first time all summer. We got some great plans in place for this coming fall semester that I am very very excited about. Campaigners then on Sunday evening was incredible; just with the kids that have been consistently coming and sharing and taking part, as well as the fun times just hanging out after and before. I love these kids and this high school.

Monday, it was my birthday. Eh. I'm 27 now. Eh. It's all about how old I feel in the heart, right? If that's the case, I'm still 22. Boo yah. Anyways, I got dinner with just about every person that I care deeply about that still lives in Columbus at Champp's. It really made me thankful for the blessings of friendship and fellowship that God has given me here in Columbus.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Throwback wrap-up...

I must apologize, a couple weeks ago I left you all with a post that was excited about a glorious return to Lake Cumberland. Well it indeed was glorious, starting with a fantastic car ride of hilarity that itself began with Jacob chugging a beer when we picked the girls up and thinking that he could drink it while riding in the car. Hilarious. (for the record, he didn't drink in the car and I drove the whole way) Just know that the car trip was fun to say the least.

The rest of the weekend consisted of dance parties, Jenga, the lake, and some crazy things happening. The most ridiculous thing though is probably the simple fact that I very nearly capsized our pontoon boat with everyone on it about ten minutes into our time on the lake. Apparently we failed to realize that the left pontoon was sitting lower in the water than the right. One can logically assume that the only thing that would cause that would be some water in there. Now that we've established that, has anyone ever captained a pontoon boat out there? It's basically the easiest and most boring boat to drive that has ever been invented. It's really easy to steer and stop. Except for this one. This one decided to not stop like a normal pontoon boat, but rather one that decided to stop moving like a drunken cow. When I say that, I mean that all the water in the pontoon (or pontoons, who knows?) rushed to the front of the boat and caused the front foot and a half the whole thing to dip down violently under the water. The girls screamed and rushed to the back of the boat, Rob and Jacob did Lord knows what but I think they quickly looked to the skies to see if they could leap onto the back of a passing hawk. Justin and I calmly fixed the situation by speeding back up. Yup...speed is always the answer.

The rest of the weekend was much fun and hanging out. Many fun games were played, hilarious quotes were had, and I reminisced a pretty good amount about my times as a kid. The people that I was at the lake with are incredible people and I love them all very much. Great friends indeed. It felt right to be back on Lake Cumberland again, and probably gave me the appropriate mindset to start to evaluate moving options in my life.

With that being said, I'm beginning to get some proper perspective and takes on this past weekend as well. I know I said this a couple days ago, but quite soon expect at least a recap.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road outside Columbus...

Well, I have returned from my 4 1/2 day excursion to North Carolina (come on and raise up) and there are all sorts of things to be said. It was a great trip to be sure, and one that I won't soon forget. If you remember, it was a fact finding mission to the two cities of Charlotte and Raleigh in order to determine how viable moving to either place would be.

Going into the weekend, what I knew was that Young Life was great in either place and that the people in either city were incredible. What I didn't know was the spiritual climate of either place, as well as what exactly the city was like itself. Both things I was able to determine fairly well during my trip.

Now I must apologize initially, I don't have the time to fully breakdown the trip in this post. However that will come quite soon, I promise. Know though, that it was an amazing trip and that at the very least questions were answered and some decisions were potentially made. Sorry to leave you with a teaser, but that's how it's gonna be as I continue to pray and work through these decisions.

Side note: our softball team won tonight to move to 6-3 with a 5 game winning streak. There's one game left before the playoffs and we should be in right now, but I'm not 100% sure...

Side note: I hate the Geico caveman commercials. They started out great, but are really annoying now. The Gecko can stay though...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We will now break for a short intermission, the rest of your trip will commence shortly.

So this is just a flurry of activity, is it not? Are you all able to keep up with all my posting? Seriously though, I can't believe I'm posting this much, but hey...I've got a lot to say right now and a lot I've been thinking about and I want to get it all down on paper.

Well, I guess it's not really paper. Whatever.

I gotta be honest, I just spent the last 15 minutes not writing in this entry but rather looking for some poignant lyrics from the Pat McGee Band to post on here. I guess I wanted to sound artsy and also relative, since I just saw him in concert tonight for free on the top of a small building in uptown Charlotte. It was pretty cool, especially since I've always wanted to see him in concert. This was super great though, because it was with great friends, it was free, and I was about 25 feet away from the stage. Cool beans.

So I'll keep this brief because I have to get to sleep so I can wake up early in order to drive to Raleigh. My time here in Charlotte has been incredible, granted most of the time has been spent in Uptown and Lake Norman, which if you've never been here are two really great areas. However, I have discovered that this is a really great place. A few months ago for whatever reason, I would've sworn up and down that I would never have moved here. Now, I can see it happening quite easily. As my friend Jordy says...the bug bit me.

I'm off to Raleigh tomorrow morning to get there in time for Church At The Triangle service at 1030. We shall see how God moves in Raleigh as well. I'm excited to see the Spruills, my boy Robby Callis, and hopefully Dave "The Silent Coyote" "Mother f*ck*ng" "It's his world, we're just living in it" Reed.

That would be nice. Yeah.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Well I guess we'll just see what we'll see, won't we?"

Ok, well I didn't exactly get more of a chance to digest things but a great friend of mine (who I know is one of the very few readers I have of this thing) has mentioned multiple times a very poignant suggestions that was also hinted at in Experiencing God.

He said that what if God's will for us is just to fall in love with Him and to experience Him however we can by committing ourselves fully to Him in everything we do. Then whatever we do will be to His glory because we are ultimately doing life for Him and not for ourselves. So therefore where we do life didn't really matter as long as we were everyday giving ourselves over to the Lord and striving to glorify Him in whatever we did.

An interesting thought isn't it? The other one that comes from Experiencing God in Chapter 3, is that all we need to do is to learn His voice well enough that we are content in living day to day following His lead. That we need to get to a point of dependency and living faith upon our Creator that we depend on Him moment to moment and don't have to ask the questions of "where do you want me for the next couple years", "what sort of things do you want me doing", "why don't you tell me where i'm going".

Both are quite interesting concepts and I like them. I don't know if I can live them and if I believe them though yet. At least not the first, and I probably feel more conflicted on the second than anything.

We shall see...

I'm thinking of staying an extra day in Charlotte to go to the free Pat McGee Band concert with all my friends down here, then heading to Raleigh on Sunday morning in time for church and then leaving for Columbus on Monday morning.

We shall see...

Take your shoes off...

Here's just a quick update from my travels so far...

I left Columbus around noon-thirty yesterday and zipped on down to Charlotte. I mean really I drove, but it was absolutely one of the easiest drives of me life. A sign? Haha...not sure about that. However, it was great when I finally made it and the drive was just gorgeous.

When I did get it, Ashley and I went out to dinner at this great uptown place called Nix's. Incredible burgers, and a ton of them. Uptown is really cool place, filled with a bunch of great restaurants and bars, lots of great places to hang out, and was a really clean place as well. Quite unlike many downtowns in Ohio. After that we headed down to the National White Water Center, where we train Olympians to win boatloads of medals (get it?) where on Thursday nights they turn it into a place to be for anyone. There's live music, a restaurant, bar, families go, there's lots of dogs which is kinda weird...and all of this adds up to phenomenal people watching opportunities. Today Ashley had tennis practice at Hopewell HS and I decided to go with her. Despite my waking up early, getting ready, eating breakfast and having a cup of coffee...I apparently still did not wake up enough, to remember my shoes. I realized this when we were half way to the school, when I looked down and noticed my socks in front of me and no shoes to speak of. Weeellllllll...I decided to play without my shoes then. And let me tell you, I am good at tennis. Tennis All Star and MVP are actually on my resume; if you go back to the ages of 6-8 at Sycamore Creek Country Club. Whoops. It was great fun though and I didn't embarrass myself nearly as much as I expected. Yay for that! I did however begin to develop a bit of a blister on my right big toe.

Then we drove around and took a bit of a tour of sweet, gigantic homes that are on Lake Norman, went to the town of Davidson to see Ashley's YL office. Now I just got done watching some Fight Club and Scrubs, while Ashley did one of the things she does best: nap. Hah. We're trying to figure out what we do the rest of the night. What I do know is that we'll be making a second trip to the airport at some point. I'll let ya know how all that turns out...

In my preparations for this trip, my good friend Jordy Sparks warned me that the bug may bite while I was down here. Well as I drove into town and drove over Lake Norman, the bug began buzzing around my head. Coming into the weekend, Charlotte was usually the lowest city on the list. While it had a bevy of my great friends down here, including great brothers in Neil, Jack, and Jordy, and my sister in college Julia, and great friend in Jaclyn who always speaks truth to me, and one of the most incredible women I know in Ashley...I wanted to know about the city itself. So far it has yet to disappoint. I asked the Lord that coming out of the weekend that I would have clarification on things, and that perhaps one of the two places would be eliminated. So far it's definitely not Charlotte. Surprisingly, Orlando has started to fade significantly in my mind. Columbus has continued to fade. Blacksburg continues to recruit me.

I've been reading some really great things in Experiencing God that I would love to share, because it directly applies to what I'm going through right now. I need a bit more time to digest it though and sift through things that I'm reading. So you can read about that later tonight if you'd like.

Also, there's two wicked stoned people on Cash Cab right now and they are just crazy looking. Why don't things like that ever happen to me? Not the stoning, the Cash Cab-ing.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Right now I'm packing my bags and car for a trip down to Lake Cumberland for the weekend with some friends. For me, this represents a return to childhood innocence hopefully. For those of you who don't know, I spent my summers growing up zipping around on my wave runner here at the Houseboating Capitol of the World. It's a spectacularly beautiful place as you can see above. Really that picture doesn't do the place justice either, so hopefully I'll take a good amount of pictures for sharing.

I'm really excited about this trip though, just to get away from Columbus, which will be my second trip away in the last three weeks. There's even a trip in the works next weekend too, which I'll talk about after I get back from this one. Hopefully on this trip though, I'll start to get some clarity on my future and my life. God has slowly been bringing things into focus for me I believe, and while I don't exactly want to put what that is up on here just yet, know that this process is still on-going.

In getting back to childhood roots I'm hoping to find a parallel simplicity of mind and thinking as I pursue God's will and plan for my life. Christ himself speaks on having the faith of a child, and that unless we become like them we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. So let's hope that my return to a sacred childhood place and time will bring the faith of a child and the adventurous and undaunted spirit of a child back into me. I'm feeling too old at times and I don't like it, so this should be a good time.

Unless I get bit by a water moccasin, cause that would really suck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chiggity Check It Out...

If you've got a few minutes you really need to check out the sermon this past weekend from Heritage Christian Church in Westerville. It's by Andy Sieberhagen, the missions pastor at the church, and he's from South Africa, which alone should compel you to listen to it! His accent is incredible!

Anyways, a little preface is that during the month of July they did a mini-series on Unlikely Heroes in the faith. It was a great idea, but unfortunately not the best carried out that the church has ever done. Except for the last one, this past Sunday.

I highly encourage everyone to either download the sermon from itunes or go to the church's website and go to the podcast page, where it'll be towards the top.

So yeah, go listen to it. It's worth at least a hundred angel-bucks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My life be like...

This weekend was a freaking blast. Let me just let you in on a little secret...the Turner family is awesome. I love them. Kitty and Howie might be the most awesome friend's parents I know. This camping trip was probably made all the more spectacular though because of the incredible delay that happened from my first invite until the actual coming to fruition of sitting around my first campfire with them. See, I had been invited for the previous five years but something always came up at the last minute...from bachelor parties, to family weddings, to family crises...something always prevented my attending. Perhaps it was because God knew I just wasn't ready yet, perhaps it was because He knew they weren't ready yet. Whatever the reason, it is what it is, for now I have been and have come back alive to tell of it.

We arrived late on Wednesday night, and when I say late I mean around midnight-thirty. Howie and Kitty stayed up for our arrival, but soon after that Howie and the Swartzels crashed while Kitty, Ashley, and myself stayed up for another hour and a half or so enjoying an adult beverage and catching up on life. The next day was filled with an insane amount of food (as was the whole trip really) and spending the day lounging at the beach of Kneff Lake. Great times...floating to the other side on our Cadillacs, beating old men in Washers, throwing small children onto and off of a large inflatable raft, log rolling, and hearing funny stories about Ashley from both Howie and Kitty. Great times. The next day we prepared for and took the epic canoe trip, from which many stories came out of in the past. The big story this year, was perhaps my relegating of Ashley to the front of the canoe and putting her in her place when it came to all of that jazz. Apparently Miss Ashley is not used to not steering and having control of the canoe. Suffice to say, that yours truly did so well that she barely needed to paddle. Count one for the good guys. Saturday consisted of playing lots of games while the foolish ones of the group played something called "golf". Silly rabbits, tricks are for kids.

Overall it was a great weekend, and I count many new friends amongst these people. I would feel comfortable going back and being with them next year, even if Ashley wasn't able to attend. I'm sure the Swartzels will be back as well.

Speaking of Andrew Swartzel...he and I decided something crazy while on the way back from this epic trip. While we were up in town, we saw signs and such for this canoe marathon that people just somehow knew what it was and so there wasn't a whole lot of explanation. Well we investigated it, and found it to be the longest canoe marathon in North America this coming weekend: 120 miles! Talk about epic! Well we started discussing the viability of us attempting the intense physical feat that goes anywhere from 14 to 19 straight hours of paddling. Through a river, dams, ponds, eddys, over a little land, through the night, bugs, wind, rain, whatever Mother Nature would throw at us...we would continue to paddle until it was finished. Now I know what you're thinking: you can't just sign on and do that in one week! You're right, we can't. However a year from now? Yes please.

So that's my weekend and life update-ish. There still is a lot of things that I haven't decided yet when it comes to the next stage of my life and what I am going to be doing next. As of now it's still:

Columbus: work for Max & Erma's as a manager, lead, coach
Raleigh: find a job, help with Church of the Triangle, lead
Blacksburg/Virginia: find a job, lead, unpaid intern training for YL
Orlando: find a job, lead, raise up committee, revitalize First Year Fellowship/New Leader Training and therein the whole leadership/city from a YL perspective

So yeah. I suppose you could throw in there: curveball from God - who knows?

Welp, that's all for now. Wish I had a cool sign off saying, but I don't so I may start trying on various ones.

Word to your mother.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Here's a question to ponder when you get a chance...

How do you know when God is calling you to something? How do you know what God is saying to you?

No idea if I'll have any sort of follow up to this post. Just wanted to throw it out there and see if anyone had any thoughts on it...

So please comment with your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The balance?

Hey guys, while I thought I would be posting more than I currently am with having internet 24/ least this is more frequently than this spring. Here's a bit of an update before I go into some thoughts on what is going through my head lately...

1.) I don't think I'm going to be getting the UA Track head coaching position. They have an in-district teacher that they are currently interviewing and thinking through, and have stated that they will go with if he seems on the level. Oh well, not a big deal. On the other track front, I haven't heard from my head coach at CCHS lately about the Darby situation so I'm guessing that's a dead deal as well. Perhaps though if the levy passes in August or November for SWCS he'll hang the reins over to me concerning the Comets.

2.) Our kids had an incredible time at Young Life up at Lake Champion, and I can't wait to see how the rest of the summer goes. They definitely came back as changed kids; eager to learn about God, and devote themselves to Him after realizing how broken of lives they live and how broken down the world around them is. Yay for Jesus doin' work.

3.) Don't speed. It sucks.

Alright, so there's the interesting updates on my life. Now to the thoughts/musings/wonderings part of the post...

Lately I have just not been making nearly enough money at either of my jobs. Both are good jobs, with good people, but I don't get nearly enough hours at either one of them to save anything after making all my ends meet. It's really unfortunate on one hand. On the other hand, it's really forcing me to re-evaluate where my life is going and what I'm doing. I have always told myself since fall quarter of my freshman year of college that I wouldn't make any decision in life based on money and the ability to earn money. However, as I watch my friends around me save money, start looking into buying houses, buy new cars, buy things that they both need and want it starts to eat at me that I am unable to do anything that I truly want to do. Money is always a deterrent with me anymore. The crazy thing that I alluded to in another post is that as I get older the lie of needing to be viewed as successful in the eyes of the world becomes so much more attractive than it ever has been.

The thing is, I still seek desperately to lead high schools to the foot of the cross and I feel called to continue to do that. We all know I love track as well, and so I would love to continue coaching and having an impact on youth not just on my team, but others as well. Total side bar, but I was fortunate this year to be able to form relationships with athletes on other teams as well. No super intense conversations, but lots of bridge building and it was absolutely incredible. So back to loving track...real jobs don't always allow for you to get off of work at 3 everyday to go hang out with high schoolers (and win championships haha).

So I find myself in this place of balancing needing to make money and yet figuring out how to fulfill God's call in my life. I continue to want to do to vocational ministry but with the current economic situation there is more or less a hiring freeze within Young Life, and I'm sure other ministries are operating under much the same financial duress.

Lately I've been debating getting a much better paying job, which I actually indicated to my boss at Max & Erma's that I was interested in. So I may end up training to be an Assistant Manager sometime soon, which financially would help relieve many burdens. Other than that, I am still praying through 3 potential moves...
1.) Anywhere in Virginia, but specifically Blacksburg. I could potentially be a unpaid YL intern there as well as just get a change of scenery from a lot of perspectives, which I still feel I may need...
2.) Orlando, FL - my friends Robbie, Jim, and Fred from summer staff all want me to move down there to help them establish YL from a college volunteer leader perspective. UCF is one of the 5 largest universities and there are many suburbs around Orlando however there are very few leaders that come from there. The setup could become quite similar to Ohio State and Columbus...
3.) Raleigh - my great friend Kevin wants me to move there and help out with the youth in his church, and really it's beautiful down there, and another change of scenery would be great...

So there ya go. We'll see what happens. I'm not having a ton of luck with finding a house that works for all the guys that want to live together so maybe that's some sort of sign? Who knows...I just pray for God's sovereignty in my life and that I am able to glorify Him over anything else in my life...

Any thoughts or impressions are more than welcome...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guess who's back...

Well hey there everybody! Although I gotta be honest, I'm not sure if there's much of an everybody or really even an anybody since it's been so long since I had any sort of significant post on these internets. For this I apologize, however since it's my blog I don't apologize too much. If you read this, chances are you already know how crazy my life was this spring with track, work, Young Life, moving, and all sorts of other fun things. It really was a fun spring. Unfortunately the busyness and bustling of it all (I'm not sure but you may only be legally allowed to use "bustling" around Christmas time...) left me in a very depleted spiritual state of life. I allowed myself to get quite complacent and didn't have any sort of pride in or fight for my walk and relationship with Christ. For those of you keeping score at home, this is a big one in the 'L' column. So recently I decided to really shed any and all excuses and make it a top priority to be spending all sorts of time with the Lord again on a daily basis. Now it hasn't been perfect, but it's a fun work in progress.

In other news, as I alluded to in a previous post (whenever the crap that was...) I moved back into the Brickhouse about a month ago. For those unfamiliar, this is where I spent the better part of my college career, even easily making myself the longest tenured member of this prestigious group of upstanding and legendary men. Not that that is really important at all. It's simultaneously been good and bad to be back there and on campus. On the plus part, my social life of hanging out with people has definitely increased in depth and width. We all know that I love hanging out with people and having great fellowship. On the flip side, I'm living in a messy undergrad house again, with the wonderful and every present possibility of crime lurking every night. While my social-ness has increased, it also is difficult because the guys in the house and I weren't roommates for the whole year and therefore are having to really work at having a real connection again. So like I said...thumbs up and thumbs down.

Right now the first ever camp trip from Central Crossing is taking place! With 8 freshmen guys and 1 sophomore girl, God is doing big things this week to be sure. In fact, as I write this they are probably eating appetizers and taking fun pictures outside of the dining hall before heading in for their formal end of the week dinner. I cannot wait to hear story upon story after they get back tomorrow night from my co-leader as well as all the kids. The Lord be praised!

In old news, I still have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I work at Max & Erma's and at Caribou. I'm still single. I don't know where I'm even living in the fall. However, I am currently in the middle of applying/interviewing for the vacant head track coach position at UAHS. We shall see if I am able to get that incredibly awesome post. I'd be the youngest head coach in the OCC for sure for track, and would amazingly be holding one of potentially the most coveted positions in central Ohio. This is an incredibly humbling thought even, and I can't imagine what cool stuff God could do through an opportunity like this. Hey, I'd even get to lead with Pat Pat and Red again. Hahaha...

Well that's about all I have for right now. I'll leave you with one really fun and funny thought though until next time...

Yesterday I was having dinner with Mike Davanzo at the amazing establishment of Skyline. You know you love it. Anyways, he observed that every employee at every Skyline he's ever been in is best friends with every other employee. No one is ever unhappy, no one is ever angry. It's like when you go there you're actually going to YL camp and they are a summer staff that is all best friends. I challenge you to go check it out...

Monday, May 18, 2009

just whelmed.

I can't believe I've been so negligent, and yet I can. I knew this was going to happen once track season started in earnest, as well as club got rolling, and I started a second job. The lose of free internet at home kinda helped the cause too...but I can't really complain about that one much. 

I have so many thoughts right now that I want to pour out onto here. Too many things have happened since I last really updated on too many different fronts in my life. I really don't even know where to start with all in response I'm basically paralyzed about what to write as I sit here staring at the screen on my computer. 

We'll go with

1.) My roommate Kevin Johnson is getting married on May 30 and I'm in the process of moving out of his wonderful house in Hilliard. Where am I moving to for the summer you ask? The Brickhouse. That's right...another victory lap. Yikes.

2.) I'm still completely undecided on what I am going to do next in my life. Help?

3.) There's tons of weddings happening...I'm still single. Not minding it one bit. 

4.) Sports are exciting. Go Reds. Go Bengals. Go Bucks. Go Comets.

That's all I got for now. I'm still overwhelmed with needing to write everything down so for now I'm just gonna call it quits. 

Mucho amor.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I disappeared.

Sorry's been a crazy busy time lately and I just haven't found the time to let you all in on my life. Apologies all over the place. I promise the posts will pick up sometime soon...just not sure when. 

Go Comets.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Staring into the uncertain...

Location: Caribou in Grandview, on the patio
Listening to: Kenny Chesney
Consuming: Green Tea...go Japan

So I'm sitting here on this wonderful patio, on this day that turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. I'm staring across Grandview Avenue at one of the most vibrant rainbows I've ever seen, and I can see it completed at either end, which is pretty darn sweet. Unfortunately the temperature is starting to dip down and so my flip-flopped feet are getting a little chilled, but that's alright; the rainbow wasn't just one, but rather another fainter and thicker one right in front of it. The old two-fer. Bam. Gotta love it.

Well I'm doing much better with the Lord than I was when last I checked in. However, I'm still running around like a chicken with my head cut off. In fact, Monday evenings seem like the only relaxed and chill time that I have anymore. I suppose though I wouldn't trade my hectic schedule for a light and really open one, but sometimes it starts to wear on you. Oh well, it's times like these that I am more disciplined and focused in all areas of my life, which obviously is a pretty good thing. 

As I sit here, I continually wonder about my future and what God has planned for my life, especially in the immediate timeframe on the next couple months and years. The thing about all of this is though, I know that I need to continually let it go and just be quiet and still before my Lord and my God in order to hear what He has for me. By the way, the rainbow has disappeared, but has instead been replaced by a beautiful sunset and incredible reflections of the sun on the clouds.

The thing about about it all is that I don't need to know. I'm on a need to know basis as a follower of Christ, and I never need to know; at least until right before something happens. So I could sit here and list off some pretty sweet situations that have started to present themselves to me, but I don't think I will. At least not yet until they are a little more plausible to happening. Both would keep me in Columbus a while longer, perhaps even for the long term. So who knows. If you want to know what they are just ask me, but I think I'll hold off on posting them, especially since one of them includes some potentially time sensitive information that I don't want just being spread over everywhere. 

(Ok, now the beautiful part of the sunset is gone, and the temperature is falling faster than Chad Ocho Cinco's career. I may have to take refuge inside from this increasing north and wicked cold wind...) (On the plus side my co-leader Vivake just got to Caribou, so boo yah)

Basically, under my blog title I have "Staring into the sweet uncertain..." and this entry title doesn't include the sweet part, however, I think it still is sweet. Isn't it great when you can work through something after having a certain stance when you first start out? Like when I began this entry I was on my more negative side of thinking on this whole future thing. (I tend to go back and forth like a bit of a roller coaster, if you will...) However now that I am finishing this lovely entry, I feel like the uncertain is again sweet and great because it is completely in the Lord and His will for my life. 

Boo yah.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I yawn too much to work at a coffee shop...

As most of you all know, for the longest time I worked at a wonderful food establishment called Zuppa UA. It was this great Italian restaurant with tasty sandwiches, great salads, mostly good soups, and filling pastas. It was a favorite of many, especially within the Upper Arlington community. Twas a sad day when it closed its doors for the last time, especially with all that I put into the place and the community over the previous four years. 

Well anyways, when all this went down I had to start searching for a job back in October. It took me over a month and many applications to find one, and this was even before the economy really really sucked! So I finally found two within two days; one at Macy's for the holidays, and one at Max & Erma's for real. Well the Macy's job was horrible, but I'm still serving at Max & Erma's. It really is a pretty decent job, but only being able to work the lunch hours because of my schedule hurts my earning power. So I was forced to find a second job again just recently. 

Two weeks ago I started working at my favorite coffee establishment, Caribou. Jyes, for all those times I spent money there, now they are giving it all back to me. Hah. So far it's wicked easy and is a pretty good job. The only drawback is that when I go in, I have to be there at 530 in the morning...ouch. The weirdest part about it though, is that later that day, by the time I eat lunch even, work will seem so long ago that it feels like it happened yesterday. In fact, that's what has happened yet again today...

I'm sitting here at a different Caribou with Pierce and work feels so long ago already. So that's a weird phenomenon. Just thought you all would like to know that. 

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm writing this entry with a big of hesitance. I really would like to blog about what's going on in my life right now, but yet I also don't. I'm trying to figure out what God wants for my life in the next stage of it, but I gotta be relationship with Christ has been crap lately.

Pure crap.

When I say that, I mean that I just haven't put in the necessary time to continue to deepen my time with Him. In fact, it's not even that I'm not deepening my relationship but rather that I'm not even doing up-keep. How can I possibly discern what Christ wants me to do if I don't hang out with Him and continue to get to know Him and grow accustomed to His voice?

I can't. 

So despite all these fun things that He is doing at Central Crossing through Young Life and others at the school, it kills me knowing that greater things could be happening if I were doing better with Him. 

A perfect song came on Pandora as I sat down at Caribou tonight to read and blog: Jeremy Camp's "Revive Me". 

Revive me, according to your loving kindness
Revive me, that I may seek You
Revive me, according to your loving kindness
Revive me, oh Lord.

Revive me, refresh me, reinstate me, receive me, oh Lord...that is my prayer. 

Semi-apologies that this isn't a great and fun post, but I felt it necessary to continue to be transparent in my seeking of the Lord and in living my life as a testimony for the great things the Lord has done

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Empty = Full?

So I had this sort of epiphany while I was in church this morning. Of course today is the day that we celebrate that which makes our religion and God different from any other one out there. Today is the day that Christ rose from the grave to demonstrate his power over death and to free us from death. Easter Sunday...the day our God was resurrected not just in spirit, and he wasn't just almost dead, or dead for a couple minutes and they used the paddles (clear!) on, he was dead and buried and entombed for three days and only then did He rise. 

Well getting back to the epiphany that I had this morning...I was sitting in church, listening to a song that was sort of worship for all and sort of just a performance for reflection. (it should also be noted that I initially typed "reflextion" for reflection...) I was staring up at the cross that was hanging above the stage and then looking back at the crosses that are normally hanging on the walls on either side of the stage. It struck me that in my mind I normally picture the cross with Jesus on it; that the only times I ever picture the cross in my head it has Christ crucified. I have pictured myself weeping at the foot of the cross, seeing Christ's blood on my hands, and yet hearing His words of love that I am His and that my sins are forgiven. 

In all reality though, only on Good Friday should I picture the cross with Christ on it. After that the cross is empty, and for part of Good Friday, all of Saturday, and some of Easter Sunday the tomb is full of the body of Christ. However, by the time most all of us head to Easter service on Sunday morning in fact, the tomb is now empty. In Matthew it doesn't say what time of the day, in Mark is says just after sunrise, in Luke it says very early in the day, and John says that while it was still dark, the women went to the tomb and saw that it was empty. 

Now in light of this fact, we also look in general at how counter-cultural the life of a true follower of Christ should look to that of those around him. Forgive our enemies? Turn the other cheek? Don't worry about tomorrow? All things that the world tells us is foolishness. However this is not the case. Going further, look at how counter-cultural this picture of both the cross and the tomb is this weekend especially. A gigantic difference in our religion verses that of any other world one is that our God is living and active. He has demonstrated even power over death. Other religions don't claim living deities. 

So check out again the picture of the empty cross and the empty tomb. Of course the empty cross signifies that "It is finished." and that the penalty for our sins was paid. How great this is when standing alone! Our God doesn't stop there though, He continues to demonstrate His power and love, when the tomb is proven empty of his body but full of his grave clothes. Just in the way that 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it so eloquently: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the one has gone, the new has come!" This is the picture of Christ as he leaves the empty tomb, leaving behind the old grave clothes of death, and bursting forth into glorious day. 

The power is not in the traditional worldly view of full is better, or there is power in fullness of something. No...power comes from the empty. The empty cross. The empty tomb. 

So yes, empty does equal full.

Happy Easter. 

He is risen.

He is risen indeed.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday...

Location: My room
Eating/Drinking: Nothing, stuffed on BW3's
Listening to: Whatever rap our neighbor is blasting next door. And yes, we both live in houses with space in between them...

Well well well, I must say I've found myself in a bit of a rut right now when it comes to this blogging thing. I always seem to sub-divide things into a couple little articles within the bigger picture and while it's effective I'm not sure I like that sort of shotgun news approach. Anyone have any ideas?

To start with, I think I might just try keeping it to one subject and not deviating from that no matter what throughout the whole entry. That might lead to more entries to read for the two people out there who might read this hoping to discover the secret location of the Sakada family fortune. You'll never find it Pierce!

In attempting this feat though, we'll just start with Sunday; yup just the day of Sunday. It started out innocent enough, going to church at Heritage like normal, sitting with all my younger friends like normal, stealing donuts and muffins and juice from the college devotional time like normal (it's funny because I'm finally not in college anymore...get it?), came home and ate some cereal like normal. This however, my finely feathered friends, is where things stop being normal at all. Next, team Central Crossing (aka Team Awesome) (aka LeeRoy Jenkins) got all fresh and crisp and traveled together (sans #7, he was off becoming #1) to the 2009 Columbus Young Life Leader Draft. After doing a lot of scouting throughout the year and putting together a pretty solid plan of attack we felt great going into the day. Things ended up falling our way and we got two of the best prospects money can buy. Alright, well really we didn't pay them anything, and technically no leader gets paid...but who's counting?

So back to the real stuff...Lindsey Ossim and Eric Terranova. That's right...our new leaders are awesome. Or Ossim. And Terranova. And awesome. Although I didn't know who Lindsey was, I knew she was going to be awesome. I knew Eric the whole year and loved fact we hung out all day today and spent some time with some guys, but that's a different entry. ;-)  Anyways, I couldn't be more pleased with who they are and how they will fit in on this team. 

Well after the whole excitement of the actual placement, we all met back up as a new team together at the traditional restaurant of Damon's. Pretty darn good California Chicken Sandwich I had on Sunday. Yummy. Well we had a great time, got to know them a little bit, and am looking forward to continuing to hear their stories. Then we all headed to Campaigners, and weren't really sure what to expect. Last week we had one guy show up and it wasn't even the guy who's house we were having it. Well this week we show up and there ended up being 25 kids when it was all said and done. That's right...25. God works in mysterious ways right? Our kids are on spring break...that's double the most we've ever had... Wow. Let me tell you, I've never before stood to teach a Campaigners the whole time, much less basically have to be yelling-ish to command attention the whole time like I did this past week. It was quite an experience and before we started I was a little overwhelmed to tell the truth. Humbling, to be overwhelmed as the (quite) senior leader on the team and (easily) the oldest person in the room. 

Check this out though...after placement I had a thought in my head that I didn't want to go with what I originally planned to lead, which was talking to them about how to become best friends with Christ. I had decided that I wanted to lead a small group study on Psalm 1. Well I get home from placements and sit down before dinner to review and re-plan. God just said no. 

No teaching on Psalm 1 this week. 
Teach on what you already planned.
     But I don't want to.
Think I care what YOU want? 
Think that's really what these kids need to hear? Or are you just wanting to teach on something you know really well and would just be easy for you so you look good in front of your new leaders?
     Yes? And...yes. (sigh)
Talk to them about getting to know Me. They don't.
     You sure?
Am I God?
     Yup. Good call.
I thought so. :-)

That's pretty much what the conversation looked like. Pretty sure God even put that little smiley face on there to let me know He loves me still. So I taught on how much God loves them, and how He desires to be our best friend. It was good. Thanks God.

Well after that craziness, more craziness ensued and we all headed outside to play Hide and Seek in the rain. Wow...that was actually pretty fun! I hadn't done that in forever, and I'm still pretty darn good at it! (boo yah...fist pump) The night lasted for a while, and the new leaders did a fantastic job hanging out with and getting to know some kids. I was quite impressed. 

So that was Sunday. Not anywhere near being a Lazy Sunday. But it was definitely crazy delicious...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's always something...

Location: My room
Eating/Drinking: Nothing. Air?
Listening to: the sound of a blog entry being composed in my head

I thought I would just squeeze off an entry before I hit the sack tonight. It's certainly been an interesting last couple of days. Of course it seems like it always is. As with almost all my posts, I have a couple small thoughts to deposit...

1.) The YL Leader Draft is tomorrow afternoon, and we are getting a new guy and a new girl. (I sure hope there aren't any First Years who read this right now...) This is always a really exciting time, and I know that the tension of excitement is just about to burst within the rest of leadership. As with a couple years though, this year is going to be a bit bittersweet, as it always could be. The other years are the ones where one year my team didn't change and that was exciting, but Kevin McIntyre stopped leading and I cried that my best friend was no longer going to be at my side in the battle. The other year was when I changed from Upper Arlington to Central Crossing, leaving behind a drastically changing team as Bryan and Kacie both stopped leading. This year, I am excited for new blood on our team, especially from a guy perspective, but that means that we are losing someone (most likely) that I have grown to love. David Nicholas Vuckovich. When we first started leading together I never thought that we would be great friends. It was never a thought that crossed my mind, and in fact I didn't think that he was going to last past the middle of my first year at CCHS. Happily, I was mistaken. Over the past three years he has grown to become one of my best friends, and a man I know I can trust by my side in the battle and in the foxhole next to me. His unique personality and style will be sorely missed on our team and by me; and the words that I can type on here will never express the gratitude and love that I have for my brother. CCHS is changed because of the way that he loved kids without exception.

2.) Tonight was hilarious and awesome. Six dudes, lots of pizza, great Skyline dip, chips, the Final Four, and Rock Band. Doesn't get better. I love being a guy.

3.) I started a new job this morning at Caribou in UA, and right from the get-go I was reminded of some of the culture that I hate in that city. We had two catering orders for the men's and women's lacrosse teams and the mother that picked up the men's coffee was so many sides of potentially frustrating. I am however excited for this job, and yet dreading the hours. I must learn to discipline myself again on Monday and Wednesday nights to get to bed at a quite decent hour to make the opening shift.

4.) For those of you out there who follow Buckeye basketball and remember the glorious year of 2006, when the Bucks made it to the championship game, only to have their 3 point shots fail to splash any sort of net, I propose a scenario. I was you to close your eyes and imagine a Buckeye team with Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Kosta Koufus, and Evan Turner as the starting five. In a quite liberal and fun substitution rotation you would have Williams Buford, BJ Mullens, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale, Walter Offutt, and Mark "The Shark" Titus coming off the bench. Talk about a Big 10(11). Now watch them romping through everything they faced, with little regard to human life or even the will to live much less play basketball. This team would be the eventual National Champion. Now open your eyes...did you watch the late game tonight? The team I just told you to envision played basketball tonight in Ford Field. They played in the Final Four and will be playing on monday evening for all the marbles and One Shining Moment. They are the team that people speculated before the season if they could potentially go undefeated this year despite all the evidence of ever growing parity. They...are the North Carolina Tar Heels. If they can make it happen in Chapel Hill, why can't we in Columbus? Soon my friends, it will be our turn to dance...and Thad will make sure they never take their eyes off us again. (much less allow a skinny little beanpole like that kid from Siena to get 8 million offensive rebounds!)

No progress yet in any sort of future decision for me, just lots of prayer sent up, and preparing my soul, heart, mind, and body to be still and listen and KNOW that God is God. So thank you for all your continued prayers concerning that.

Welp, I gotta get to bed. It's calling my name much louder than it has in quite some time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to Virginia...

Well here we go my friends... I officially am not going to be moving to the Commonwealth Region to be a part of the Young Life Intern program this next fall. I spoke with Scott "Hambone" Hamilton last week and he informed me of such, emphasizing the same refrain that I've heard from many staffers, that the weakened state of the economy has put such a freeze on hirings that there are few to no spots anywhere that are opening up. Obviously this comes as a disappointment to me, because I figured "why not me?" in my prayers and in my thoughts. My checkered past may not leave me as exactly the most desirable person for the job, however I wouldn't be the leader or more importantly follower of Christ that I am without those long trials and tribulations. 

I do know however that my heart is still with Young Life, and is still definitely in leading kids and pouring into leaders. It makes my life somewhat easier in some respects because I know what my calling is and has been, very clearly. I hope that it remains that clear for the rest of my life. 

This brings me to an interesting point though, as I can basically choose a couple options. The first decision hinges on whether or not I think I need to move or stay here in Columbus for the next year. If I moved, it would probably be to Virginia, although I have some friends in Orlando that are lobbying hard for me to come down there to help build the ministry. Of course there are a couple people lobbying me hard to move to Virginia as we'll see how that goes. 

The second fork we come to, is whether or not I should remain as a volunteer leader wherever I end up, or do intern training how they apparently did it "back in the day" (according to Scotty too Hotty Hamilton) of working Mon-Thurs getting full time or almost full time hours, then having Fridays off for intern training with the rest of the region and for fundraising and doing other YL related activities. I would be eligible for YL benefits and would in some ways be treated like a full-time intern. This would be both desirable for me, and yet containing incredible opportunities for frustrations for a year of life. The demands of my schedule would likely leave me with only a handful of hours of sleep a night, and I would be running from thing to thing. However, most of you know that I love being that busy and that I operate at a much higher rate of efficiency with everything I do when life is like that. The other option within this, would be again the just volunteer leading wherever I am, but hopefully I would be in a position to basically be a volunteer staff person. Unfortunately with the way things are here in Columbus I don't think I would be able to do that part of the equation. It would be incredibly difficult to leave my guys and kids at Central Crossing though with the way things are going in this school. 

So as you can see...I've got a few things ahead of me to pray about. Of course all this talk could to void if John Wagner's Divisional office passes my name along to a different regional director and that guy wants me. So we shall see...

Listening to: whatever is playing in Caribou, Diane talking on the phone
Eating/Drinking: chocolate chip cookies from subway, that same green tea
Location: Still in Caribou in Grandview

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the beginning (hopefully) of the postings...

Oh man...the last week was wicked crazy for me. While most people were off sunning themselves and chasing alligators, or maybe some of you were sunning yourselves after passing out from too many adult beverages, or maybe you were seeing two dead people. Regardless, the one thing that sucks about graduating from college surprisingly isn't the lack of free Papa John's pizza in my life anymore, no it's the lack of real breaks like you've gotten used to. Thanksgiving, Christmas/winter, spring, don't realize how truly depressing it is the first year out when you realize that you don't really get a break like that anymore. 

However, not all is lost my friends. Despite having a busier week than any one else did since I had actual work and other responsibilities, it was a really phenomenal time. We had our second club this past Wednesday and with it came interesting challenges for me, as for the first time I got a picture of what it would be like to very nearly run club on my own. Now this isn't to say that my other two awesome co-leaders that were in town didn't do anything, it just felt like I didn't have a free minute between our first club and this week because I just felt pulled to watch over everything. Not sure why, although I know that in the past I have had trouble feeling like I needed to know/control everything. Clearly I really have to get past that; it's not me in control anyways even when I think it's all God. Regardless of this stressed feeling, club went fantastic for a second week in a row. We had a some kids who came the first week not come the second because they didn't want to have to eat foot sandwiches like the first week, but they'll be back. The great thing was that there were a ton of new kids this week, and most of them had a great time! Nathan did an awesome job on his first club talk ever, music went really well, the game went over great, and energy was incredibly high. Our first two clubs really could be categorized under "controlled chaos" and "out of control party". Let's see how it goes this week...

Also, like I said I started coaching the high jump in addition to my regular responsibilities to the sprint team. All week I had all sorts of kids coming over, and it felt like everyday I was teaching a new kid how to high jump and starting from the basics with someone. However, we had our first meet of the season this past Saturday at Watkins Memorial, which always brings interesting challenges for our staff of fighting through early season injuries and the inevitable ineligibility bug that bites the sprint corps every year. My high jumpers performed quite admirably and were all fairly pleased with their results, yet also disappointed. It's in this balance however that you find yourself being pushed from within to get better and I think that's what excited me the most about all of them. Not only did the high jump track-aletes perform well, but the rest of the sprint corps was impressive for this time of the year and in comparison to how we performed in past years at this meet. Obviously the distance kids started to again lay down the law as a group of runners not to be messed with. Tremayne is such a great coach and a great person...I have routinely told people that if he knew Jesus (and he might, just may not think along an evangelical way) we wouldn't need a Young Life team within the entire high school. So pray for Mark Tremayne please...he's the man.

I'm gonna stop this entry right here, because it has been sitting open and being planned for around four days now and there's new things to read on please...

Listening to: who knows when I started this entry...
Eating/drinking: foot long sub from Subway/green tea from Caribou
Location: Caribou in Grandview (again)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cornucopia of Chad

I wanna try some new stuff. I used to have a LiveJournal back in the day, and it had this little feature that let people know what I was listening to at the time of the post and all these other little things. So here we go...

Listening to: Virginia Coalition - the whole album of "OK to GO"
Drinking/eating: French Press coffee
Location: Caribou in Grandview

Well like I said in my last post, life has been pretty crazy lately but it's been a really great crazy and one that I wouldn't trade for any other existence. Mainly it's because it's revolved around high school kids, whether that has been actual Young Life events like our first club, or track practice, hanging out and planning club with kids, or just hanging out with kids. It's been really fun to watch my team come alive and start to really get after it and take their own ownership of club. Obviously the ultimate goal is for the kids to basically run club, but I almost feel like we're getting there quicker than I ever would have dreamed.

Sidenote: I am sitting outside and I just saw a grizzled old man riding what could only be described as a mo-ped, behind a much younger man riding what wasn't quite a motorcycle. The old guy though was all white/gray hair, wore aviators, a USA flag helmet but one of those almost pith type ones, and an old school New York Giants jacket. The kicker: he was smoking what was the remains of a small cigar, like down to the stub where you can't really hold it anymore. Kudos to you old guy.

Back to club, my team did a phenomenal job this past week for our first club that culminated with a great first club talk from Vivake. Our first club was quite possibly one of the messiest that I have ever been a part of; starting with the shooting q-tips at each other out of straws, then having Light 'n Fluffy done by the hilarious Vuck and Aldea (messy = whip cream and confetti), then having girls make PB&J sandwiches with their feet and then feeding them to guys who refused to eat them with their feet. Our "tough" football guys proved pretty sissy. Oh well it was hilarious. Big shout-out to my boy Brandon Neike who did a great job playing guitar for us and helping me with the technical difficulties that stressed the crap out of me before club started. This next week promises to be quite an interesting experience as both Vuck and Vivake won't be there but I'm sure we'll be able to pull it off...only with God though. All glory should be given to him for the awesomeness that was this past Wednesday. 

Heading over to the oval... Just this past Tuesday I was named the high jump coach for the Comets. Yikes. God save the kids, seriously. I'm pretty darn excited for it though, now that I've gotten into it. Fortunately my great friend Eric Lee was a standout high jumper in high school and recently took over coaching that and hurdles for the Golden Bears of UA. So we have this great partnership this past week of getting together and spending half of the time with me coaching him on coaching hurdles, and then the other half on him coaching me to coach high jump. It's pretty funny and yet pretty awesome. I've always loved talking track with Eric and he loves talking track with me so it all works out well. The first two days of actually doing things with the HJ'ers (I really need to come up with a cool, galvanizing name for them all, and maybe some cool cheer or handshake...any suggestions?) went really well. We'll see how it goes going forward. Most all of my guys have definite promise in the event, and I have a couple girls who could go places as well. 

I'm still awaiting word from the Commonwealth Region on whether or not they want me. I sure hope they do, because I sure want them. On the flip, if I have another year in Columbus I surely won't complain (too much) as there are definitely some great friendships that I wouldn't want to abandon, as well as the obvious devotion and humongous heart I have for the Comets of Central Crossing. We have been incredibly blessed by the family of one of our freshman guys where we have Campaigners and now Club. They are just so devoted to the ministry as a couple, mainly the wife, and have given not only to the area with funds, but with much prayer, opened their house, given money to our team, fed kids before club/campaigners, and generally are more than I could ever ask for in terms of any sort of support in this ministry. God bless the Boos' and their whole family. 

Friday night I got the opportunity to go to my first NCAA tournament game. Fortunately the first game was entertaining and fun because it was Louisville vs Morehead State. The second game however, was the Buckeyes vs the Siena Saints. Who are the Saints you ask? A team from I'm still not sure where that was dwarfed by OSU, played possibly worse than OSU in many aspects, and still managed to beat the Bucks because OSU has no heart outside of Evan Turner. Even heart needs to be coached how to do things sometimes there's a big part of this loss I blame squarely on our coaching staff. We can't break a half-court trap? Basic basketball. We get out-rebounded 51-33, including 21-6 on the offensive boards? Even more basic than the half-court break. Ever heard of a box-out? In the immortal words of Andrew Pierce: "Hey BJ Mullens, there's high schoolers with more talent than #22 Rossiter. Good luck in the NBA." For real though BJ, unless you can learn how to be 7 feet tall by the time the next season rolls around and dominate guys that are half a foot shorter than you (for the love, their 5' 11" guard out-rebounded you BJ) then please just leave our team and go be a window washer or something. But I regress, we win as a team and we lose as a team. Or something.

Not gonna lie, there was something else that I wanted to write about but am completely blanking right now. Interesting. 

This weekend was great for me; I had the whole weekend off because I had originally planned on road-tripping down to Blacksburg to visit some friends but then decided against it. So consequently I had Thursday thru today off of work and it really was glorious. I had been working like crazy, which really is more of a mental grind because serving is easy but knowing that everyday you have to get ready and go into work just wears on you like crazy. 

Alright well I think that's about all I have for you guys right now. Pray for club this next week for Central's gonna be crazy again!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In like a lamb...

I must apologize to many loyal legions of millions of fans out there that read this humble blog...I have been somewhat absent. Things have gotten kind of crazy in the world of the ninja and I really just haven't had time to post anything lately. I know I had something up a week ago, and I think a week before that that would bring this to a grand total of 3 blogs to start out the month of March. In like a lamb indeed.

While I can't promise that March will go out like a lion in the blogging world for me, everything else has been a lion. We start club tomorrow for the first time and needless to say I have been quite busy with all of that. Also, just praying through and trying to figure out my future...good thing God's got that one under control as well. 

I will say that there should be more time for blogging once I get settled into the new routine of club planning, while still hanging out with kids, working, futuring, praying, and coaching. So again I must apologize for my absence, but know that this is still near and dear to my heart, and so are all of you.

Mucho amor.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What the hook gon'be?!

I must apologize...there are all sorts of updates that you all are probably demanding. I expect any moment to see a mob coming down the peaceful street of Smokehill, complete with torches and pitchforks ready to burn me at the stake for my egregious crimes against humanity in not updating my blog.

Ok so that might not really be what's happening, but then what is that faint orange glow in the distance?


Well, this past week at Central Crossing we had our first activity that was on our own since our Christmas party. Like I said, instead of visiting another club we decided upon Bigger and Better to play with our kids. This turned out to be pretty successful, even if like most other things it ended up being a crap-ton of dudes and very little female representation. We ended up having right around 20 kids there, which is just phenomenal because there were also a bunch that we knew couldn't attend this past Wednesday. The really amazing thing about it was the ownership that the kids started to take, even of such a silly activity like this. In multiple cars we had one or two kids really take the lead of the car and be motivated to win. They thought outside the box, and while at least my car didn't go to any random houses, we got other kids involved that got the briefest taste of craziness because we stopped by their house for something they didn't need. Hopefully those brief tastes for those kids will fester in them and draw them to come to club eventually. Gotta love those seed planting opportunities. 

Another thing to love, was one stop I stayed standing by my car while the four football players I had with me ran up to the door and were laughing and having a genuinely great time. Bam...this thought hit my mind: I hope that they truly remember the amazing time they are having tonight playing this silly game that college kids wouldn't ever play in our free time even; and moreover, I hope they remember this stupid game the next time they're thinking about who's party they are gonna head to and whether or not they want to drink that night. Vivake gave a brief "club" talk (if you can call it that) after the activity, that touched on life to the full. I really think that these kids experienced a brief slice of that on Wednesday night and I hope that it left them wanting more...


My wonderful friend Jaclyn alluded in a previous post while she was in Florida about a study that she was doing that asked her to think on a time in life that we felt we got the short end of the stick. In considering that in my own life, I tried thinking long and hard about my past and times that I had felt entitled and yet shafted. Really though all I had to do was reflect on what was happening in my life currently... With track, I believe I had said in a previous entry that I had been given charge over the hurdles this year, and while I had never coached them in my previous four years I was excited to learn them and teach them to my kids in the hopes that we would grow together towards conference and post-season titles. Well that dream was shaken a couple weeks ago when a random guy called up my head coach Mark and wanted to volunteer to help out with hurdles. I know right? Well Mark can't turn down a potential opportunity to help out his team, especially when this opportunity ran hurdles for THE Ohio State University. Mark though, did explain to this guy that he had a young and energetic guy who had been with him for a couple years that was taking over hurdles and was learning them and also was great with the kids, to which new guy responds that he doesn't want to take anyone's spot. Anyways, through a long series of interesting circumstances and interactions over the past two weeks involving conditioning and now the first day of official practice today, this guy is the hurdle coach and I'm relegated to assistant sprint coach again that doesn't do anything with hurdles. 

So now I need to examine myself and my approach for being there. I know my reason: to love kids on the track team for Christ and to show them His love by my actions. That doesn't change, never will. However, I must swallow my ego and pride and figure out a way to not want to punch the guy every time I see him; which for those smart people in the audience, is everyday for the next three months. However, someone pointed out to me that perhaps this new guy needs to be there for his own good, because I told this friend about how new guy hasn't really even tried to be a part of the coaching staff at all. He certainly doesn't like to talk to me, and comes across like he thinks I know nothing about track at all. Anyways, perhaps he is supposed to be here because he needs a group of friends or God wants to draw him close through me. Yikes, that's a scary proposition. Pray for me...


This coming Wednesday we are doing a scavenger hunt with our kids. It should be a pretty great time, and hopefully will give kids another opportunity to take ownership of Young Life at their school. Please continue to pray for momentum for us, as we are now under 10 days until we start club. Had a team meeting last night and my team came away looking a bit overwhelmed at all the things I threw at them in terms of responsibilities. It can definitely be a daunting task, but more importantly it can by life changing. Pray that my team stays close to Christ and that they love kids more than they are able in the coming days. Also please pray for their grades as they head into finals while trying to balance planning club for the first time in their leading careers. God is good and God is bigger than all that craziness...and for that we give thanks.