Month: December 2007

WY to KS (or how to make two one hour flights into 16 hours)

December 22, 2007 in my life:

4:45 am: leave house and drive to riverton airport
6:15 am: take off from riverton
7:30 am: arrive in Denver, find out our flight has been moved up 40 minutes to 10:07am. That means less sitting in an airport!

9:30 am: Board airplane in Denver
10:00am: Get off airplane in Denver because there is blowing snow covering the runway in Wichita that should be fixed in 30 to 40 minutes.
10:40am: Still sitting in airport.

11:30am: Finally breakdown and buy lunch ($23 for two sandwiches, a hot dog, a drink and three bags of chips)
12:30pm: Still waiting. Our kids have formed their own little playgroup with others who are waiting.1:30pm: Still waiting. Why did I leave my dumb laptop on the plane? And all my books? Why did I believe “30 or 40 minutes?”
2:30pm: Kids passing out in chairs and on the floor, I still wish I was smart enough to have grabbed a book, or my ipod, or even a piece of string when we got off the plane.

3:30pm: “Good news Wichita, we can go!” comes over the speaker followed by cheers. Everyone is immediately in line to board the plane.

4:00pm: We take off with the warning that if things get worse in Wichita we are coming back to Denver so we don’t have to spend the night in somewhere like Lincoln, Nebraska (that was what our pilot said, it was great and it made my day. I can trust a guy to land on ice if he recognizes the problems of having to spend a night in Lincoln)
5:05pm: We land in Wichita. Everytime the pilot hit the brakes you could feel the plane start to skid sideways. That was a tense landing followed by cheers and clapping when we stopped. Someone should have filmed it for a sappy movie. We are now on Central time, so it is 6:05p.
7:00pm: We finally get off the plane. We waited FOREVER for the plows to make it possible for us to get to the terminal. I think they were playing some wierd plow truck drivers game of tag.
8:30pm: I see Kennedy’s bag come out and hold it over my head as it is the first one from our entire flight to make it to us.
8:45pm: Our stroller comes out and we leave the airport, quickly.
All in all, a crazy day with my family, but considering the circumstances, a good day. United employees where helpful throughout the day and tomorrow we do the whole thing again to get to Florida. Except I’m mostly sure it won’t be snowing in Florida.

I just read an article by Kenda Creasy Dean titled “Getting Out of God’s Way: Freeing Our Inner Theologian.” It’s a long article, but if your involved in trying to help people be more like Jesus, you should check it out. Dean writes specifically from a youth ministry standpoint and she challenges me to look at whether or not I plan events with the cross of Christ in mind or not. I have the tendency to want to succeed in ministry in a way that is tangible, like having more students or being able to say we had a certain number of visitors during the semester. And so I plan events accordingly, to get students in the door and make them think church/youth group is fun and cool. A quote from the article:

“Young people are never won to Jesus because we did something that worked. They’re won because God has laid claim to them, wooed them in Christ, loved them enough to suffer for them, died on a cross, rose from a tomb, and has called them to lives of sacrificial love as well.”

Or in other words, I need to make sure I am approaching ministry with the idea that I need to show kids Christ however they will let me. They need the truth. And I need to stop worrying about whether or not I can plan an event that will get that 8th grade girl that visited last month to come back.

p.s.- I am sure a thanks to Dan is in order for pointing me to that article, but I can’t really remember. Ummm, so, thanks Dan for maybe pointing out that article, and if not for that one, then for all the other ones you’ve pointed out that I haven’t blogged about.

Kobe on Leadership

A few weeks ago I was taking in some NBA action on TNT while the Lakers were playing. I really like watching the Lakers if only for the fact that Kobe Bryant might doing something you’ve never seen before every time he touches the ball. This game, however, was not going the Lakers way. Halfway through the 4th quarter they were down by more than 20 and Phil Jackson, the coach, took Kobe out rather than risk him getting injured in an already lost game. A very obviously frustrated Kobe went over to the bench where two teammates waited to greet him with fives. Rather than acknowledge either of them, he turned around and proceeded to sit on them! He wanted that seat and forced his entire team to move to grant his want. Kobe is one of the best players in the NBA and the leader on his team. At that point, his leadership style said, “I will get what I want for me, the rest of you don’t matter except in relation to what you can do for me.” Here’s what Jesus said a leader is:

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I hope I lead like Jesus as I try to guide students into lasting relationships with our Creator.


Tonight I spent time talking with a student about their struggle with sin. They were telling me how much they hate having to deal over and over with the struggle to follow God instead of the world. It’s not the first time I’ve had this talk with this student. Over and over they are dealing with the ugliness of sin and the desire to see it disappear from their life. This student is struggling to see the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

As I spent time praying for this student tonight, that he would see God’s plan for him in this situation clearly, I was struck by one thought above all the rest: I hope all the students in my ministry spend time wrestling with sin like this one student is. I hope they learn to hate sin and it’s effects on their lives. I hope they never give in to sin being a normal, okay part of their lives.

My prayer for my students tonight:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes though Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11