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Posts Tagged ‘5th/6th grade’

Wow… I haven’t been on myspace in forever. Even though myspace looks cooler, I’ve been on Facebook. Just easier to communicate. But I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on.

Doing the Rhythm and Momentum thing lately. Rhythm is a post college singles group that is meeting on Thursdays. Totally loving it! James Patterson has an amazing vision for that group. Momentum (5th/6th grade) is going well too. God is really stretching me with the 11 kids I get to teach every Wednesday night. I care about those kids a ton and just love seeing what God is doing in their lives.

So the mission thing is what is going on lately. Leaving for Cambodia in about 6 hours here. Then heading to Belize in a few weeks. Then a trip down to Tijuana not too long after that. I love being a part of these teams and serving the people that are need of Christ. I will for sure write about my experiences when I get back.

God is good. He has blessed my so much. The boys are doing so well in school. He has also blessed me with an amazing friend in my life that I’m really enjoying getting to know. She has brought a lot of joy to my life!

Please keep me in prayer as we leave and that we complete the task God has laid out for us. God Bless.

Travis

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Well.. today I am 35. My first reaction to that is .. I’m old! But it is no longer about a number to me anymore. I feel like I’m 25 and I’m loving life! Funny thing is that I feel like I’ve experienced the life experiences of someone in their 70’s with all that I’ve been through. Yet God continues to use me in ways I can’t explain. I’m so blessed for the friends and family he continues to bring into my life.
So what’s on the agenda? I hit one of my favorite places to eat yesterday.. Cornish Pasty. Love that place! It’s a hole, but the food is great. Hung with my mens’ group last night and then went to Kazimierz last night for some late night jazz with Shane. Hit the slots at AZ casino on the way home and then worked out. Today I’m having lunch with a friend followed by some fun with the kiddos. We might catch Clone Wars. The Mine starts tonight as well. Pastor Royce is covering the book of James. I am super stoked for that. One of my favorite books of the Bible. So a laid back relaxing day.
Last week I started volunteering for our 5th/6th grade program. I have eleven kids in my group. I can’t wait to plug into these kids. God is definitely going to stretch me this year as some of them are pretty wild. But I’m up for the challenge. I attended a youth ministry leadership conference on Saturday called Calibrate. It was very well put together and reaffirmed me that this is where God wants me as well as the mission board. God has been speaking to me a lot lately about maintaining a balance in my schedule. In fact, my Bible college class was canceled yesterday. I don’t know why the timing on this.. but I’m putting my faith and trust in God that he knows why he doesn’t want me in school right now.
Lastly, I’m excited for our new singles ministry for late 20’s/early 30’s at Cornerstone. Its called Rhythm (formally Generation 8). Our new singles pastor, James Patterson has a big vision for this group and I’m excited to be a part of it. But it will mean that I will have to leave Camber as it is going to Thursdays night. Camber was a huge part of my life. Especially after going though divorce. I love plugging into that age group. But it is time for me to move on. God always seems to bring new opportunities to learn and grow in my life. I love the people in Rhythm and I can’t wait fellowship with them.
Last, I heard a message from Pastor Justin about how churches need older people be there for the younger people of the church. Praxis’ average age is 23. I don’t my role at that church, but I know there is a reason I go there here and there. I made a lot of mistakes and age 23 and I love sharing my testimony to guys at that age. And at 35, I still feel I can hang with that age group. God has a plan and I need to obey if that is the path he wants me to take. I’m just excited to be a part of it!

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I had a really good week this week. I feel very focused. I also feel really relaxed. I’m really grateful for the people and the things that God has brought into my life. As I continue to pray about his will in my life, he continues to use me in ways I can’t explain. The only way I can explain it to say that it was all God. He can use anyone.
I’ve been studying two things the past couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to better my understanding of the Holy Spirit and how he works and I’ve also been studying the concept of church and community. The Holy Spirit had always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve didn’t understand his role in the Godhead for some time. Yet I know the Spirit is in me. He guides me in my walk everyday. But at the same time I still forget to call upon the Spirit. I will be put in a position to be used by God and I wonder if I can do it. The thing is, I can’t. But God can. The Spirit gives us the power to do God’s will. Why is that so hard to remember?
I get convicted by the Spirit almost weekly. I don’t think we can call upon the Spirit without repentance. It’s the only way I can look at what has happened to me these past couple of years. I just try to be obedient and follow his will and the Spirit gives me the power to go about it.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.   Romans 8:9-11(NIV)


As I try and discover God’s will in my life, I do at times have my frustrations. I know he has called me to ministry. As scary as that sounds, I can’t say no to that. He has done too much and revealed to much for me to say no. I am also trusting that to him to decide what that is. At this point, I’m not sure what his will in my life is. I know my spiritual gifts and I see where he is leading me. But I gave up trying to pinpoint and define it. I want him to lead me there. I want to have the faith to believe he knows what he is doing. I had a lead pastor come up to me last night and ask me what my ministry was. I kinda laughed at this. I told him I don’t really have one. That I’m just learning the ropes and trying to find God’s will in my life. I’m not sure why he asked me or who he thought I was.
The thing is that I’m a late bloomer in this calling to ministry at my age. I just surrendered my life almost three years ago. I have no seminary or theological background. I read my Bible, listen to sermons and ask a lot of questions on a daily basis. I hang out at church 5 times a week. This is my way of learning ministry. Yet, what I really want is a mentor to help guide me and push me about the in’s and out’s of ministry. I want to know where to start my first steps. Is it schooling, interning, on the job training? I’m not sure..
I once had a guy offer to mentor me without me asking or getting to know me. I truly believe a person seeks a mentor, not vise versa. So I declined his offer. Ron Merrell has been the closest thing I had to a mentor. Now he just left. So I am now taking what I learned from him and applying it. But I feel I need a little direction. I feel I need someone to help me with those first steps of really learning ministry. I meet with a pastor from another church and a missionary on the side every few weeks for some spiritual advice, but it’s not enough. The frustrating thing that I’ve seen lately is that some people with a seminary background aren’t willing to help raise up new leaders. They’ll brag to me about their ‘church background’ and knowledge, but won’t apply it to others. I feel like it’s a members only club. I’m tired of seeing this. Is this really what God wanted for the church? I feel that if someone comes to you and sincerely wants to learn from you, you should feel honored to do that for them. That’s just how I feel.
Yet I know God will raise someone up. I do have an amazing opportunity that was presented to me to counsel 5th/6th graders. I’m still praying about that decision. I would have to step away from my divorce group. Yet I want that experience. I know it would be good for me. So I’m seeing some things going on as I write this. I just need to make sure that I don’t get overloaded like I did last year. So far, I’m doing well with balancing my life.
Well, I just had a lot on my mind. Life is good, God is good. I’m grateful to him for what he has done. I’m grateful for my life. I just need to continue to trust him. I’ve seen him use too many people in amazing ways to not trust him.

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Myspace blog entry

I found out 2 weeks before we left that I was going to Forest Home camp in California to help counsel kids in our 5th/6th grade program for 7 days. I was pretty stoked about this. I have a heart for two things – the nations and youth ministries. I had helped out on occasions with this program, but I really wanted to go to camp this year. We ended up bringing about 70 kids on two buses. The not-so-fun thing about that – very loud and Axe deordorant body spray. The boys poured it on on the way.

I had 6 kids in my room – KJ, Jake, Dylan, Brian, Tanner and Marcos. Most of them were skateboarders. We spent the first night going over rules and getting to know each other. They were up pretty late goofing off. But the mosquitos and spiders freaked them out…and the mouse running around the floor.

We spent the first full day at the lake. Water slides, kayaking and the big inflatable Blob were on the agenda for the day. I spent most of the day laying on the beach. Then I threw C.J. – one of our leaders into the lake. He would eventually get me back be dumping cold water all over me at lunch. Then the lead pastor Jeff took us counselors down to the zipline to have some fun while the kids had their freetime. Forest Home famous shakes followed that. The evening was war night as the kids dressed in camoflauge for a night game of crawling around. I brought face paint and colored most of the kid’s hair to make it fun.

I got teased most of the week about one of the staff members – Mango (her camp name).  She was pretty and all the boys liked her. The boys tried to set me up with her. I woke up in the middle of the night with my kids shinning a flashlight in my face trying to get me to admit that I like her. Then they told her that I like her. I had a lot of explaning to do.

We had a safari the next night. I had to do the hula contest.. and I lost. Later that night was deck connections. Each counselor spent 10 to 15 minutes with each kids and spent some time chatting with them. I really enjoyed this time with my kids.

The next day was at the lake again. We had a counselor vs kids water war. Then the counselors went to try out the blob. As I got ready to go on, we had a scary moment. The worship leader of the camp came walking up and was covered with blood. Then he passed out. He had hit his head pretty hard while diving in the water. So lake day got cancelled early while they attended to him. He ended up being fine. We played volleyball later and then had group deck connections. I talked to the kids about being a missionary and what that was all about. We then had night time free time with hot cocoa and cookies.

The showers were separate from our rooms. I got up early to take mine. As I headed back to my room, a bear stood in my way. He saw me and then ran. I was the only one awake, so no one else saw him. Pretty crazy. I got a care package and a letter from one of my kid’s mother at lunch time thanking me for watching her son. I thought that was really nice. Later that night we watched a movie under the stars in our sleeping bags.

By the way, the food was pretty good for camp food. I had no problem going for seconds. We did a long hike to the lost mine the last day. Then we baptized some of our kids later after that. Then the pranks rolled out that evening. I put a fake rat in Jeff’s sleeping bag. Then our cabin got Axe’d. So we retaliated with baby powder in thier sleeping bags. And of course.. the underwear hanging on the hook for all to see. Things got serious for the last camp meeting that evening. We challenged the kids to be a light in the world after camp. We then took time in our cabin to say nice things about each other.

I really enjoyed going on this trip. It was good to get away for a week from busy life. I had fun being a kid again. But I most enjoyed plugging into these kids and building some long lasting relationships with them.

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So I’ve left the cool weather of Payson and I’m in town to enjoy the heat for a couple of days. Then I will be heading out to California to be a camp leader at Forest Home camp. I will be working with the 5th/6th grade program there. I’m pretty excited to be returning to Forest Home. I have good memories of going there with my young adult group a couple of years back. Cool thing is there is no cell phone reception and no internet access. I have conjured up some pratical jokes to play on the kids in my cabin/tent (whatever you call them). But at the same time I’m excited to be pouring into these kids lives for a week. My son Jake leaves for Hume San Diego for Jr. High camp the same week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how difficult this past 6 months have been for me. Even though once again God pulled me through those tough moments, it took more than just relying on him. I had to meet him halfway and tell him that I couldn’t on my own power handle what I was dealing with. I had to surrender what I was going through to him. I seriously love this passage.

 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.            2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)

I’m glad I’m weak. I live a pretty tough life. Yet it brings me close to God. I’m blessed with so many amazing friends and support. My life has become an open book and I love sharing it to people. I know our natural tendency is to run and hide. Its how we are wired. Adam and Eve hid after committing the first sin. Yet there is something about opening up about your struggles to others and sharing how God pulled you through. There is no such thing as perfect people.This world needs more transparent people. They need to hear about the love of Christ and know its ok to make mistakes. Its all about how you pick yourself up. And God is always there to help us up when we need him.

I want to give a shout out to my friend Jamin. Last night he shared his experiences in Sudan on stage at Camber. I love this guy. Just a real, down to earth guy who just loves Jesus. I met him over a year ago and had invited him to join my men’s group. He felt like he didn’t measure up to us ‘Godly men’ to join. In my head I laughed this off because I knew I no where near that. Then he struggled here and there through the summer with temptation. We had a class at Chandler Gilbert next to each other. We had some great conversations. He was so open to me about his past life with drugs, etc. It encouraged me so much.

Then Jamin left for Sudan to do missions work around Christmas. That’s also when my own personal life tanked it. Yet as far as he was, Jamin called me from Sudan on a monthly basis. I can’t tell you what those phone calls meant. He then came back a few weeks ago. I tell you.. what a changed man. I see someone who saw the love of Christ being shared in a tough country dominated by the Islamic culture. I see someone who has let Christ fully take control of his past life and is letting he mold the man he was meant to be. I’m grateful to God for blessing me with his friendship.

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