Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Revolution

Have you ever been on a journey that wasn't easy or fought a battle many times that you have never won? Well that is right where I am at. The new year is always a time when we make resolutions...I HATE resolutions, that's why this year I am not making any. However, I have asked the Lord to help me start a new year's revolution in a couple of different areas. First I have asked Him to really break through into the lives of my teens this year. We are making progress, but it is a tough battle and the enemy is trying very hard to keep them from achieving their potential in Christ. With His help this will be their year to finally "get it" and make big strides in their walks with Him. On a personal level, for those of you who know me I have fought a battle with my weight pretty much all of my life and I have reached a point where if things don't change I know I will be taking years off of my life if I haven't already. 2006 is going to be a year of revolution for me, I really believe it. Please pray for my teens and also for me as we fight these battles. Also if you are interested in following my personal battle I have started a new blog that will deal specifically with my weight battle. The site is Thanks for your friendship and prayers and may 2006 be a year of New Year's Revolutions for you as well.
In Him,

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm dreaming of a warm Christmas...

"I'm dreaming of a warm Christmas, you know the ones without the snow...where the beaches glisten, and the wind aint whistlin..." Okay so it is a work in progress, but that is the case for me. We were flying into Dayton the other night, the plane turned to make its approach, I looked down, and there is was, the nasty stuff known as snow. I'm definitely ready to head south again. I didn't like the cold before, but now that I live where it is warm most of the time, I hate it even more. I think next year I am going to ask people to come to us for Christmas...let them experience a warm Christmas without the cold and snow. The snow hasn't been falling, but it is on the ground and the wind has been ridiculously cold-it was like 15 below with the wind chill yesterday. I can't take that, even with my winter coat which I kept I am still chilled to the bone. I know, I am a wuss and should just let it be, but I am cold. Then add on top of the cold the in-laws and it makes for an interesting mix. I love being in Ohio and seeing family and friends, but I will definitely be ready to head home come Monday. Have a great Christmas and we'll talk to you soon!

Monday, December 19, 2005

So what this passage really says is...

Okay, those of you who had any religion classes at IWU can appreciate this. I am trying to finish an exegesis paper for Dr. Lennox in my latest master's class. I have never been that good at these things, and am really nervous about this one since it is for a 500 level class. Hopefully he will be full of grace this Christmas season. What is an exegesis paper you ask? Well it is basically where you dissect a passage of Scripture to get the real meaning behind it (or how you interpret it) and then how it applies to your life and what it says about God's character. Hopefully I'll do okay on this one, it is on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 which is a real winner of a passage when it comes to exegeting. Well, I'll do my best and then it is off the the big OH for a few days of winter fun and family. I'll try and post while I'm there, but just in case, Merry Christmas, and we'll see you soon!

-the mattster

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A loss of a friend...

This morning I came into the office and Don our music pastor said that I had a message on our church voice mail from one of my teens in Jackson. After listening to the message, I had to sit down. It was from Clint, one of my former teens who I was pretty close to and still interact with when I get the chance. He had left a message Saturday and I didn't get it until today. He was calling to let me know that his mom had passed away Friday unexpectedly. It was a shock to me, she can't be more that 40 some years old. She had had some surgery a couple of years ago and some back troubles, but nothing that you would expect to cause this. I called and talked to Joe, Clint's step dad and he said they still don't know what happened. It is really sad. Here is a woman who started coming to church becuase Clint had gotten involved in youth group. She had gotten plugged into the women's ministry and got saved and was faithful unless down with back pain and couldn't come. She was always an encouragement and would have a hug and a smile waiting on Sundays at church. When I was down, she was always there with a smile to encourage Megan and I. I don't know why the Lord allowed this to happen now, but I know I can rest easy because she is in Heaven today. Thanks Clint for bringing your mom to church and thanks Leesa for being an encouragement to Megan and I. We will miss you, but we'll meet again someday. Joe and Clint, know that I am praying for you and will be glad to listen when you need an ear.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not a bad weekend after all

What's up folks? Well it is a Monday which is what it is no matter how you look at it, but it is shaping up to be a good day and a great week hopefully. I thought I would blog a few lines and let ya know what has been shakin since my last rant Saturday. Service went well yesterday. I had to don my superhero costume and be "Brad" for kidstuf yesterday (Which is fun except for the fact that I have to put makeup on right now to cover my goatee)- The skit was a funny one and I really enjoyed it. This kids program is starting to take off and more and more of my teens are getting involved in it so it is a double blessing in that it provides them with an opportunity to serve in ministry and feeds the youth group as these kids grow up). I inherited a fundraiser I didn't know about yesterday where the teens are supposed to pass out the Christmas cards and people make donations. It's a lot of work, but hey the teens made 70 bucks yesterday, can't complain about that. After service I decided I would bury the hatchet with this parent who was giving me grief. I decided that if there was ever any way I was going to get them on my side I needed to get this talked through. He just happened to have to lock up yesterday so I spent a few minutes talking with him and everything is fine. He is just as concerned about kids being left out as I am and I think that is why he was so upset the day before. It all boiled down to one of those miscommunication things for me which was a reminder to make sure that people are always OVER informed no matter what (rookies if there are any of you, take note of that). I have been relying too much on the bulletin, power point, and word of mouth. So things are good there. I tried again to plug him into helping on some level (with communication especially-email or whatever) but he like most parents is reluctant to get involved since his daughter is in the youth ministry so no go on that yet. So the weekend was great and did I mention saw LW&W twice and it gets better every time! I'll prob see it again. Everything ended last night with going to Meg's office party at a place here in town called the FishHouse (it is an upscale seafood place I guess). It was alright-a lot of fancy finger food which didn't look that great to me, besides I was more interested in getting home and watching the Survivor:Guatemala finale. I missed the first part of Lydia getting voted out (shame, I kinda wanted her to win), but was able to see the rest. I was pretty shocked though that Danni pulled it off, but I am glad it was her and not Stephanie. They kept claiming that Danni was all about strategy, but I still think it was more about her being in the right place at the right time. Stephanie probably did deserve it since she "played the hardest" and did it twice, but I just didn't like her and it looks like she just burnt too many bridges playing the game. And I wasn't the least bit surprised that Judd showed himself like he did. There is always one. So survivor is done until January or February. It looks like it could be a pretty good season with the whole Exile island thing. Time will tell. Well that is about all for now. Be encouraged, trust the Lord and give him your all. Talk to you soon!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Parents are going to be the death of me yet...

Okay, so I'm not going to lie and tell you that everything is perfect today. Honestly I'm having a bad day, and I'm pretty sure that Megan is probably at the house crying too. It is just amazing that there are some people no matter how hard you try you- can't do anything right. I've decided that if there is going to be anything that every runs me out of youth ministry it is going to be parents. So here is what is going on...We decided we were going to do a spontaneous youth trip this weekend to see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe ( I had a sign up sheet Wednesday night so I could order tickets. The deal was if you signed up, I pre-ordered a ticket for you, if you didn't you had to take your chances and meet us at the theater. Shouldn't be an issue. Well this morning, I'm at a piano recital at the mall watching one of my junior high teens and my phone rings and it is a dad accusing me of purposely leaving his daughter out of the event and doing things without her. She wasn't there Wednesday because she was sick and missed the announcement. I'm sorry they didn't know, I told the teens to spread the word because I wouldn't be able to call everyone and tell them to meet, but because I knew there would be issues if I didn't let her know about it I tried to call. I looked directly at my youth database and called the number that I have in my teen directory. I didn't get an answer so I just let it be. I talked with a couple of the other teen girls and told them to make sure she knew about it so she could meet us there if she wanted. Well I don't know what happened, but she found out second hand and of course she isn't coming. So what does dad do, he calls and yells at me accusing me of purposely leaving her out and then questioning my integrity by accusing me of not calling since my number didn't pop up on their caller id. Is it my fault that I put the wrong number in the system? I do my best to interpret teen handwriting when I enter a number from a card, but occasionally I get it wrong, so I guess I must have screwed up there, but please don't question my integrity. Of course this is the family that decided to have a little pow wow about me last Sunday night with some other parents trying to stir up trouble and then made me look like an idiot in front of our guest speaker during our TPF (teen parent fellowship) last Sunday night by questioning the things I do indirectly and "asking" him how he does things (implying the way I SHOULD do things). Oh by the way did I mention that they have had several other "issues" with my ministry since I've been here too (dress code, a Bible Study covenant I had the teens sign). I just can't do anything right for them. You know what though, I am done trying. I cannot cater to one family. There are 25 kids in this group and each of them need me as much as the other ones do. It is not about me or about them, but about God and so I press on keeping doing the best that I can do. I'm going to hang in there, I'm going to press on, I know the Lord has us here for a reason, and I am going to keep loving this family even though they hate me. If you are a newbie reading this or are maybe going through something similar, hang in there, don't give up! Sorry for the vent today, it just makes me feel better and I guess shows you that youth pastors have bad days too.

Until the next time-

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I'd gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today...

Okay, so I've tried to post this now 3 times and I keep messing it up. We will try this one more time and hope it works this time. This post is nothing spiritual, nothing encouraging, this post is simply about food-and more specifically the quest for the best burger in Pensacola. Since September my accountability partner (and youth sponsor) Ed have been looking for the best burger in town. We have found some pretty awesome greasy spoons here and there, but I think we have finally found the best burger, if nothing else because of the atmosphere at the restaurant. We've been to the Blue Dot Barbecue downtown where you get what you get on the burger and you don't ask questions (like the soup nazi on Seinfeld) and it was great. We've been to CJ's- home of the G.O.B. (good ole burger) and double GOB (which is a real gut buster when you are finished), and we've been to Jerry's drive-in (which supposedly was voted best burger in Pensacola 4 times). They are all great places, in fact we will probably hit CJ's later today, but no burger compares to the one we found last week at a place down by the base called the Hip Pocket Deli. The atmosphere alone of this place is cool-a greek family runs it and it is covered in military decorations and stuff-it is awesome. But the kicker there is that every Thursday they serve the Whimpy burger and for 7 bucks you get the burger, chips, and drink. This thing is awesome, it is made of Gyro meat (lamb) so it isn't the least bit greasy. I probably could have finished it, but decided to not push the envelope. Ed finished it though, and we have decided that we will be going back. I am planning over Christmas break to see how many of the teen guys can tackle this burger. If you're ever down here with us, plan on joining my quest. Until next time, here is a picture of this bad boy-and yes it is that big (ed put his head in the picture to show the size of it. Talk to you soon!

On a quest...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Merry Christmas from Matt and Megan (and Jackson too!

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As we get ready for the hustle and bustle of the busy Christmas season (yes Christmas season, not Holiday season) Megan and I are praying that the Lord would bless you richly and do awesome things for and through you and your entire family!