Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Training Article @ Simply Youth: Tips for Dealing with Students for Ushers and Security Teams

I was recently asked to speak to our usher and security teams about how to deal with teenagers. Here are five tips that I shared with them:

1. There’s No Place We’d Rather They Be! The fact that students are in our church should bring us great joy. Period! No matter if they’re here of their own free choice or because Mom or Dad made them come, we should be excited for the opportunity we have to show them Jesus. Bottom Line: See the fact that students are here as a privilege not a pain.

2. What Lies Beneath… It should come as no surprise that . . . READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Change is in the Hair ... I mean Air

In September we are heading for a major overhaul of our youth ministry. Here is a little article I wrote to our students as we are going through the transition:

The Bible is such a cool book! I love how God uses it to speak to us where we are at. I was recently reading and thinking of one of my students, Peter. He often enjoyed busting my chops about my thinning hair. Then, the Lord gave me a word in due season:

“From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (II Kings 2:22-24).

Since I didn’t want to call down a curse on my buddy Pete, and since there were no bears around anyways, I decided I would simply silence him by beating nature to the punch and shaving my hair off. So there you have it; the true story behind my haircut.

Isn’t it funny how when we get a new look it takes a little getting used to. During the first week after I cut my hair I would jump each time I looked in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it was me. I couldn’t believe I had done it. But then this mysterious thing happened ... I got used to it. I realized that my look had changed but I was still the same person.

In September, Planet Impact is getting a haircut. We are taking on a new look. We are still fundamentally going to be the same ... passionate about reaching and discipling the youth of Long Island to impact the planet for Jesus Christ, but we are going to embrace a new look that will enhance our ability to reach the unchurched and make us more effective in helping them develop into fully-devoted, life-long followers of Jesus.

Will it take a little getting used to? You bet. But I would invite you to consider the big picture and the reason we are implementing these changes. The big picture is that we are not just about entertaining church kids and giving them a safe place to hang out until they head off to college. We are about reaching the lost and creating environments wherein students can meet Jesus and grow in faith so they will serve Jesus as adults. The structural changes we are making are designed to help us accomplish this in a more strategic, effective way.

Allow me to answer a few of your concerns ...

If you’re worried about the schedule change ... we currently meet on Sunday mornings at 10:15am, Sunday nights at 6pm, Monday nights at 7pm, and Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. In the new schedule we will meet on Sunday mornings at 10:15am, Sunday nights at 6pm, Monday nights at 7pm, and Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. That’s right ... it’s EXACTLY THE SAME! We’re just changing up what will happen in those time slots.

If you are worried that you won’t see your friends ... allow me to assure you that the opposite will actually be true. You will see them EVEN MORE! We will have much more time for hanging out in the new format.

If you’re worried about unchurched kids “invading” your space ... rest assured your worries ARE justified! If all goes according to plan, we will have tons of unchurched, unsaved students in our church each week. That is a great thing! And it’s a chance for you to rise up, embrace the call of God to reach the lost, and to heed the call of Paul to Timothy, “Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).

So, embrace the challenge! There are thousands of students dying spiritually, and you know how they can discover true life!

Monday, June 21, 2010

David Camp Now With Jesus

In just 5 days, the "Pray for David Camp!" Facebook Group grew to over 6,500 people. Incredible! With so many people posting on the page, I was having difficulty finding out what was going on. Today I inquired and found out the following from a pastor friend who is close to the family: "David's heart stopped beating last night and the family has released him to the Lord. No details on arrangements yet." Let us rest assured that our prayers for healing were not futile. Our loving Heavenly Father answered them by supplying ultimate, permanent healing by ushering him into the arms of Jesus. His will was done, not ours. The good news is that if we know Christ we will be reunited again and raised to bodily life again to rule and reign with Christ for eternity. So I look forward to seeing Dave again one day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Update on David Camp 6/20/10

Via Facebook Group "Pray for David Camp!"...

Technology is amazing. I am typing this while standing next to David=)
His blood pressure is still good. His temp is a little higher than yesterday but we were told that it would fluxuate. Pray that it goes down in the normal range so that they don't need to need to use any more meds or things on his body that could cause his skin to become irritated. His face and head look good today.

On the first day they told us that if by some chance he survived this long his organs would be mostly shut down. Well, lookie, lookie....they are still working!! Take that!!

Continue to pray, pray, pray. We stand stronger than before. I wish you could all feel the power of God in this I'll send it....did you feel that?? God is good!! He is mighty to save!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update #2 on David Camp

Update Via "Pray for David Camp!" Facebook Group ...

"We just got out of the meeting with the ethics committee. David has been confirmed brain dead by the two doctors and it is official medically. We have been given 24 hours until 9am tomorrow. His kidneys have failed and his liver has failed and his other organs will begin to fail also UNTIL the Lord does the miracle. Pl...ease pray and pass it along to pray this is the last chance. Thanks and God Bless"- Joe Wicks Friday, June 18, 10 AM

Update on David Camp

From Laura Snyder via Facebook: His blood pressure is currently 119/36. His heart rate has also went down to close to where it should be at 117. It was up in the 170s this morning. He is maxed out on medication to keep it this way but Thank God, his body is responding to it now. He continues to have no brain function. He needs to have that in order to be able to live on his own. We continue to see glimmers of improvement and hope and we know that it is by the Lord's hand. They told us that he would not last through the first night but they are not the final say. We continue to believe for a creative miracle...David's brain needs to be completely restored. Tomorrow morning he will have a final brain function test. They will give us their final accessment and we will be able to go from there. We do not give up hope...there are too many people praying for him. We know that with our God all thing are possible.....We believe for the impossible to occur!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shannon Brown WAY UP for an OOP!

Kevin Mahaffy Skydive

You can see my wife and daughters ... the little white dots next to the by the white barn next where the green grass and brown grass meet between 4:58-5:10 of the video.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Here are pics of some students I have had the privilege of baptizing this year.

I now have a 7th Grader!

Claudia made the Honor Roll and looked so beautiful during her official Moving Up Ceremony at school. This Wednesday she is officially moving up into my youth ministry as well, and this summer she is going on her first missions trip without mom and dad. Yikes! Where does the time go?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Friend's House Burned Down

(With The Waters' Family in January 2006 when Jon spoke at our Winter Retreat)

Just got word that the home of our good friends Jon & Phyllis Waters, pastors in Michigan, was completely destroyed by fire. Their car was also destroyed. They were attending a softball game at the time and lost literally everything except the clothes on their backs. Their dog and cat were able to be rescued by a neighbor and they are insured, but this is devastating. Adriana and I were mentored in youth ministry by them and even lived with them for several months when we were newlyweds. They are reportedly in good spirits, but please pray for them and their two children! If you would like to help in any way, please contact Elim Fellowship.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Blog Design

Decided to take advantage of the new templates available. Whatchya think of the new look?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Just Walkin'

I love adventure. I love simplicity. Matt Green is a 30-year-old man who has decided to walk across the United States. On his website he says, "Many people ask me the following questions when they hear about my walk: Am I raising money for a cause? Am I trying to set a record? Am I running from the law? My answer: I’m just doing it for the hell of it. Or, more precisely, I’m doing it for its own sake, for the value inherent in the act itself. Hence the name of this website: I’m just walkin’."

Follow Matt's Journey Here:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Race Results from Nissequogue River State Park 5K Run

Today I ran in the Nissequogue River State Park 5K. Out of 325 runners, I finished 3rd in my age bracket (30-34) & 68th overall with an official time of 26:42 - an 8:37 minute mile. It was one mile downhill, and then two+ miles of a steady incline. On a hot evening it made for a good run.

Friday, June 4, 2010

NYC Date

Today Adriana and I hit up NYC for a fun date. We walked from 79th Street Central Park, down through Times Square - stopping to a enjoying a great lunch on the Rockefeller Plaza - and on down to 32nd Street/Penn Station. It was a hot but beautiful day in the Big Apple. See all the pics here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010