August 30, 2010

Remebering Katrina

Filed under: Personal,Pictures — Neil @ 3:51 pm

It was 5 years ago that Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.  Amanda & I were living in New Orleans as I attended NOBTS.  It was a defining moment for us.

Jobs, school, friendships were all gone/changed in a moment.  It was a chaotic time as we learned to deal w/ everything.  Through it all we found God to be faithful.

As tough as it was looking back I’m glad that we went through it.  God used it as a catalyst for us in just about every area of our lives.

The pictures are from Amanda’s school in St. Benard Parish.  The 1st picture was from a room on the 1st floor.  The 2nd was from an upstairs room.  It’s amazing what 12 ft of water can do.  We were able to go back to her school for the 1st time following Katrina in January.  Her classroom was on the 2nd floor.  Her class looked almost exactly like she had left it on the Friday before the storm.

August 27, 2010

Friday Five

Filed under: Friday Five — Neil @ 7:00 am

It’s been a while since my last Friday Five, but here are my five favorite links from this past week:

  1. 10 Ways to Improve Marketing without Spending Any Money by Tony Morgan
  2. Calling for Contextualization, Part 5, Indigenization by Ed Stetzer
  3. Get More People to Do It by Tony Morgan
  4. The World Is Filled with Boys Who Can Shave by Mark Driscoll
  5. In honor of the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: 46 Cartoons of Hurricane Katrina by Marshall Ramsey

August 26, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

Filed under: Roscoe — Neil @ 7:00 am

This past Saturday we were away from home almost all day.  That left Roscoe, our English Bulldog, home alone to sleep all day.

On Saturday morning after Roscoe had eaten I filled up his food container w/ new dog food.  Even though he always eats the exact same dog food, few things excite him more than getting new food.  I typically fill up the container before putting his 1.5 cups of food in his bowl.  However, on Saturday I filled up the container after he had already eaten.  He was very upset/confused at not being able to eat his new food.

So, while we were away from the house during the day he managed to open the container of dog food.  It holds about 2 month’s worth of his food.

When we returned home we found him laying on his side moaning (we also found piles of undigested regurgitated dog food all over the kitchen).  He had eaten until he was literally sick.

He had eaten about 2 weeks worth of food out of the container.

If we aren’t up yet, he’ll typically wake us up around 6:00 a.m. ready to eat & he’s ready to eat as soon as I get home in the afternoon.  It wasn’t until Monday morning that he was even interested in eating & he’s still a bit suspicious of his food.

To make this youth ministry related: lock-ins are also too much of a good thing.

August 25, 2010

Student Worship Preview

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:00 am

Our student worship service started back last week.  Tonight, we start GodView, our 1st series of the school year.  GodView was produced by XP3.  The big idea for the series comes from A.W. Tozer’s quote “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Tonight’s songs:

Your Love Never Fails
Tear Down the Walls
Lead Me to the Cross
Mighty to Save

You can also check out our student worship service through YouVersion Live.

August 24, 2010

Youth Ministry Curriculum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 2:00 pm

Here’s a rundown of the curriuculum we use & how we use it in our student ministry.

  • Student Life Bible Study – Sunday School; this year we are using Linked
  • Live – we use it for our discipleship groups that meet on Sunday nights; it’s produced by Simply Youth Ministry
  • XP3 – we’ve used a few of their series in our student worship services, but don’t subscribe to it
  • Simply Youth Ministry – we’ve used several series in our student worship services

Using Students in a Youth Worship Service

Filed under: Wednesday Nights,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

I’ve used teens in our worship services in the past, but I’m doing it even more so this Fall.  For the year & a 1/2 that I’ve been at First Baptist Jackson we’ve used students weekly in our band & occasionally to read Scripture or say a prayer.  This school year our plan is to have students on stage every week.  We are planning on the following:

  • students making up our entire band – we are 1 bass player short
  • the welcome
  • reading Scripture
  • praying
  • personal testimonies
  • teens also help out w/ the lights & running our presentation software
  • I’d like to start using some teen filmed & edited videos

How else could we use teens?  How do you use them in your weekly youth worship service?

August 23, 2010

Facebook Places Privacy Issues

Filed under: culture,Media,parenting,Uncategorized,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 10:16 am

Last week I began working on a post concerning Facebook Places.  I was looking for information primarily for parents so that they could help their teen make wise choices regarding sharing their physical location w/ all of their “friends.”  In the midst of my research I discovered Adam Mclane’s post on the same topic.  I’ve copied & pasted from him the info regarding how to adjust your privacy settings, but I suggest you go & read his entire blog post.

How to Adjust Privacy Settings

Step one: Go to the Privacy Settings tab in your account settings. Here’s the link. This is an overview of all of your general settings.

Step two: Click on “Customize Settings.

Step three: Scroll down to “Places I Check In To” and click “Customize.” This will bring up a box where you can select exactly who you want to see where you check in at. If you just want to play with it to get used to it, but don’t want other people to see it, change it to “Only Me.” Changing it to “Only Me” is as private as it gets if you want to check in places. You’ll notice you can also block specific people from seeing where you check in at. Think about who you want to block specifically and list them there. When you are done click “Save Setting” and you are done with this step.

Step four: Enable or disable the “Here Now” feature. If this whole thing creeps you out, I’d suggest disabling this setting. But also keep in mind that if you want any of the cool freebies that retailers/restaurants may come up with for checking it, you’ll need to keep this enabled. (I’ve gotten plenty of free stuff by checking in via Yelp and even Twitter.)

Step five: Scroll down to “Friends can check me in to Places.This is probably the feature that will get the most people in trouble and will make people the most angry. Say you sit down for lunch at work with a co-worker. You check in and you tag that person as being with you. Now, if you didn’t have that persons permission, all of their friends know that they have checked in at a place because that check in posts to their wall. Also, if they haven’t adjusted their settings in step four, now anyone on Facebook at that location can know they are there. On the other hand, if you feel good about your selections on step three than this is no big deal.

Done. You can go back to your profile, having adjusted your Places privacy settings to your liking.

If you’d like to watch a video from facebook describing much of this same information click here.

Marriott Pen

Filed under: Personal — Neil @ 6:00 am

Saturday Amanda & I went shopping together. When we shop together it goes something like:

  • I start out strong, going store to store.
  • I then go into each store only to quickly move to the next while she continues to shop.
  • I find somewhere to buy a coke/coffee & read.

Yesterday, was no different.

I made it through several stores before bailing to read. I remembered to bring a couple if books with me, but I had forgotten a pen. I don’t read without a pen.

I searched through her car until I finally found one in the glove box (When’s the last time you stored your gloves in there? Me neither.). Not just any pen, but a Marriott pen.

It immediately took me back to the year we spent in New Orleans while I was in seminary. I worked at a Marriott on Canal Street.

It wasn’t the job I planned on having while in seminary.  It’s a story for another day, but I ended up as a seminary student working in the French Quarter.

I learned more there than I did in the classroom & certainly more than I would have at a church (plus, I’m not easily shocked by the stories I hear from teens after what I heard, saw & smelt in the Big Easy).

I’m thankful that my plans didn’t work out. The valet/doorman job was much better & allowed me to pay cash for seminary while I was going to have to borrow $ on a part-time youth ministers salary.

I’m thankful that my plans don’t often work out.

August 19, 2010

College Freshmen

Filed under: culture — Neil @ 6:00 am

Beloit College has published it’s annual list of the cultural touchstones that have shaped this year’s group of college freshmen.  It’s lengthy, but interesting.  A few of the most interesting to me are:

  • They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
  • They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

You can read the complete list by clicking here.

August 18, 2010

Student Worship

Tonight, our weekly student ministry worship services start back.  All of our teens are now back in school.  We’ve switched from summer mode to the school year schedule.  Tonight, Chris White’s band leading worship & Chris will be speaking about mobilizing our students to be missionaries.  Check out his website for more information on Chris.

I’m really excited about the series we’ll be going through this Fall.  I’ll post some info on each in a few days.

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