Month: August 2007

Raising Trees

My parents gave Shiloh and I a tree as a house-warming gift a month ago. We went to our local greenhouse (Sprout’s) and picked out our tree, a tartarian maple. Our only other tree is one that a deer decided to root on a couple winters ago and it has never quite recovered. So we are very excited to have a healthy tree on our property. We strategically placed it to give our house some good shade in the summer, the only problem being that it is nowhere near tall enough to provide said shade. And, really, it won’t be for quite a while. It is only supposed to grow 6 inches a year, which means when we pay off our 30 year loan, the tree will just be reaching it’s full height. But there is nothing to do other than take care of the tree, protect it from deer, prune it and give it enough water in our dry summer heat.
Now, the reason for writing about trees: I think youth ministry, or even following Christ, is a lot like us planting a tree. I always want and hope for students to “get it” right away and become mature disciples of Christ. Often I don’t really want to have the patience to go in small steps. I want the 7th graders to get with what’s going on and follow Jesus completely by their second week of youth group. But then I think about our tree. It’s a process to maturity and it truly takes time and energy to disciple a student. Hurrying it along only creates shallow, flavor of the day Christians. I have 6 years with these kids, I want to make the most of every one of those, not just the first two weeks.
So, here’s to a lifetime of deliberate, purposeful, good, rich (and sometimes slow) spiritual growth for me and our youth group.



A word to all of you out there: Getting your tonsils out is not as much fun as everyone made it seem as a kid, even with all the ice cream and jello. After 10 days of tears and mostly just misery, Carsen is feeling better. He’s had a good week and is a completely different kid than before the surgery. He acts happier and more comfortable than before. In general, before surgery, he ate like a mouse. If we had pancakes, he maybe would eat half of one. This morning he ate almost four and had some bacon. We’re looking forward to his pants starting to fit any day now…

Church Stress

I just read a great post on Dan Kimball’s blog about stress among pastor’s. Here’s a great reminder that he included:

I try never to forget that every volunteer in the church has jobs every day that they commute to, have their own set of pressure and stresses, yet make the time to volunteer in the church in their free time. Volunteers are stuck in commuting traffic in the early morning after a late night out at the church. They don’t have the option to stay home a little longer in the morning after a big event or late night out at the church building, as a pastor can choose to do so.

It reminded me to be praying for my volunteer’s in our youth ministry and to say thank you to them this week when I see them. Josiah and Daniel (and everyone that helps out when we need food/drivers/a house/kitchen sinks) you are a great blessing to this ministry and to my life. Thanks for all you do and the time you spend investing in students’ lives.

A Tornado in Wyoming

Yesterday afternoon Shiloh and I were enjoying a few nice quiet moments while our kids played happily in their room. We assumed they were playing with their legos or maybe reading a book as they usually do. After it was quiet for a little too long, we went to see what was going on. Here is what we found:
For those who want to know, that’s all the clothes out of their dresser that they can reach. Right after the picture, they finished pulling down the rest of their books and dumped a bunch of picture cards all over their room. They had out all the stuffed animals they could get to and were just kinda rolling around in it, like when Scrooge McDuck used to swim in the Money Bend. I can’t wait until their really capable of making a mess!

X Games

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is video of Jake Brown crashing from 45 feet up in the air at the x games this weekend. I was watching on tv when it happened and told Shiloh I thought I might have just seen a guy die on live tv. After a quick commercial break he walked away from the ramp on his own power. His injuries were pretty minor even, a broken rib, a concussion, a bruised kidney and I think something to do with his lung. BUT HE WALKED AWAY FROM THIS!!!

Back Home

We are back home from Carsen’s surgery and he is sleeping for a while. He had a rough time with the anesthesia and the doctor told us he stopped breathing and they had to do it for him for a few breaths. But Dr. Fischer and the nurses did a great job taking care of him and doing the surgery. He seemed pretty scared when they brought him back to us, but he sat with his mom and slept for a while until his oxygen level went up and his heart rate returned to normal. After that he drank some juice and we headed home. I ran and grabbed his meds at the pharmacy as well as a bunch of ice cream for him to eat the rest of the weekend! Thanks for all the prayers.


We leave in about ten minutes to drop Kennedy off at her friend’s house (thank you Lindsey and Anita!!!!) and then we head to the hospital for Carsen’s surgery. I’ll post again once he’s out and done. The doctor says we should be home by noon. So unfair that he has no idea anything is even happening today…