Ancarrow..the blog

Welcome to "Ancarrow...the blog," a place for us to share some random thoughts as we help start new churches in MD.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Hey buddies and half a pot of coffee

It's Monday...and it feels like one. Emery let me sleep through the night, thank the Lord.

We got back from Believe Saturday night. It was another great weekend for our jr. high students, as well as our adults. I am grateful for the creativity, intentionality, and relevance pumped in the sessions we attended. Kudos to you, Team Believe. Thanks for doing what you do.

I read post on one Kurt Johnston's blog this week, as I cruising through the blogs of difference people, a typical Monday morning tradition that reminds me, many times, htat I am not the only one that hates Mondays. At any rate, Kurt was named "youth minister of the year" or something like that. I like what he had to say about the award, , the blog dated 4.18.07

I love what Kurt writes. I have to say that one thing that drives me nuts about the "ministry circle" is how sometimes guys posture for position, or recognition, or to get their names on lists that get them invited to speak at large events. At times, I have even shied from talking to guys like Kurt, or even guys at places like CIY, because I have been afraid that they think I'm trying to get into their pocket, or get my name onto a list that will get me on their "big" stage. The last thing I want to be is a "hey buddy." I was once accused by a friend of being this kind of person and, I'll admit, I'm still not over it. It should be noted that many of these "hey buddies" are not bad guys; instead, they are simply unsure of how a person measures success in youth ministry. It's a calling whose success can't be measured in dollar signs, like a business, and its environment that cannot be measured on programs alone, since students graduate from these programs and enter a new ministry after, at most, 7 years.

For approximately two years, I had a weekly breakfast, which I miss dearly, with two great friends in ministry. We shared our hearts, our stories, and our passions for sports, music, movies, etc.

Both came from big churches...with plenty of resources. Both of them had staff that took care of details that I have to do everyday. Both had bigger budgets, more students, and more toys to play with for the purpose of ministry. Yet, week to week, the guy who had the least amount of frustrations and discontent with their position was me.

I try not to forget that fact on days when I have to pull double duty, or on days when my speaking suffers because I've been busy booking hotels and prepping mailings. I try not to forget that when my budget dwindles, or doesn't allow me to buy something that I know we need.

I hope this ministry continues to grow, not so I have more money, or so we get our renovation, or because it will mean that I can be a "big time speaker;" instead, I want to see growth because it will mean that more souls are experiencing Christ through those of us who are trying to "be" the church. May I focus less on what is said about me, how "great and dynamic" I am, and more on the journey that myself and my fellow northviewians are on...

Well said, Kurt.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Blue Mountain IV?

I'm absolutely weary this afternoon...but I'm not a napper. I'm in trouble, for, in a few short hours, I will be surrounded by many, many, many Jr. Highers. I need coffee..and lots of it. Maybe I should go watch some Hannah Montana or something to prepare. As I look at pictures of my daugther smiling at me, I am reminded how cute she can be when it's not 3 a.m.

It seems there's a rash of things I could blog about in "pop culture" and the news this week. Some would be silly, and some would be controversial. At any rate, I've been reminded that people who live in darkness lack hope, and, many times as a result, do very dark things. As a Christian . . . it's a very harsh reminder that cheesy christian t-shirts and boycotting stuff does very little bring any hope into the world. We need to get off our butts and offer hope, not for the sake of patting ourselves on the back or making ourselves feel okay, not for the sake greater church attendance, but for the sake of those who lack the hope. Without love, Paul says, I am nothing but a resounding gong. It's a simple verse that I've been hearing since my mom made me start going to church; however, it' s very difficult to live out. Jesus, continue to teach me how to live...and how to love.

On a lighter note, why is "the Office" always a rerun? AHHH>>>

I'm so glad that Sanjaya is off American idol. If you walk that line betwen being manly and effminate, be encouraged, Sanjaya proves you can go pretty far without talent. You can even get invited to the White House. What the heck? I know that Simon Cowell is known as a pretty grouchy person; and I know that he crosses lines. However, 9 times out of 10, he is exactly right. I may not ever buy and Il Divo CD as a result, but he does seem to have an eye for true talent.

Today Listening to: Aerosmith
Today Reading: Donald Miller To Own a Dragon

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let's give thanks to Lord, and I will feel alright.

Well, I've been to Jamaica and back at this point. Here are some pictures of the trip. The one on the upper left is the finished product of our week of labor. In the end, we finished double what we had planned on finishing. The one below it is us unloading the block truck. We unloading it 6 times that week, unloading thousands of blocks.
The other view is a view from where our team stayed. Pretty amazing view.

Here are my high points of the Jamaica trip.

1. It's Jamaica
2. Doing something selfless
3. The Grahams -the pastor of the church and his wife - a marriage that was a picture of what I want to be in 20 years
4. Our team - i love those guys.
5. Seeing God work through prayer and adversity.
7. Jerome Taylor - West Indies Fast Bowler
8. Jamaican Jerk Chicken - and learning the secrets to improving mine!
The week I was away, I walked a fine line of not wanting to come back, and not wanting to be away. I felt like I was letting down my family in not being there for a week. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is the kind of stuff I want my daughter to remember me for 50 years from now.
Coming back has been a challenge, in part, because it is 50 degrees colder here. I'm getting back into my groove though.
I suppose I should work now.