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.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Growing Anticipation...

Tonight was the official start of something very my friends, I did not have a date. However, we had a team meeting and that team meeting consisted of discussing plans for starting club of our own at Central Crossing High School, home of the Comets. Whoooo! We laid out plans for the next two and a half weeks basically, ranging from Campaigner lessons and who was speaking, to the large group games that we are going to play that will temporarily break us away from visiting other clubs. We decided to do things this way because we haven't had an opportunity other than the Christmas party to do something that is more of an outreach event on a larger level by ourselves. This whole year we've been visiting other clubs from around Columbus, including: Worthington Kilbourne, Dublin Coffman, Grove City, Westland, Hilliard Darby, and my former home Upper Arlington. Our kids have had great times visiting most of these clubs and attendance has continued in a generally upward trend, especially among the guys. New kids seems to come every week, and there is definitely an excitement in the air about camp. 

The coolest thing for me though, has been the growth of Campaigners on Sunday nights. We are blessed that it hasn't just been a horizontal growth, as in only the amount of kids coming, but more importantly a vertical growth as well, as the kids continue to open themselves up and be vulnerable and ask all sorts of questions in front of each other. 

Back to the whole club thing though... It was incredibly exciting for me to discuss this all with the team, and then when it came down to figuring out who was going to be speaking on the various nights and talking about some specifics for our two weeks of games as well as Campaigners, to watch them get excited and their eyes start to light up. I can't even imagine what they are thinking and feeling right now. Although I must retract that previous statement somewhat; I'm excited out of my mind to be starting up our own club at CCHS in a way that will hopefully be lasting with a great foundation upon Christ and nothing else. 

So if you all could be praying for the ministry at CCHS, as well as our team (Nathan, Vivake, David, Trisha, and myself), and the kids there as we endeavor to prayerfully start our own club that would be amazing. As this excitement keeps building I'm sure I'll have many much more entries about all this and the work that God is doing. All glory to God, Amen.

Also, if anyone who reads this could pray for the soul and life of one Cameron Stewart, that would be great. He needs saving in too many ways to count; namely his fashion sense, his way with women, his overgrown nasal hair, his toe fungus, his smelling like cabbage, and his liking of the Milwaukee Brewers.