Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Gospel of Sumo Suits.

Last night at the Arlington Free Methodist Youth Group was my first encounter with those pre-fab sumo suits. I took on a 15-year-old (a very energetic 15-year-old, mind you) who completely kicked my butt. Pastor Nathan told me it was not a very "dynamic" performance.

I did however, rock it out on on DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) on PlayStation2. I thought I was pretty good at the second level, only, I got a little behind and the game booed me off. That was discouraging.

I took one of my unchurched girls with me, and before we left, an AFM Youth Group girl ran up to her, gave her a big hug and asked, "You had fun, right?! So we'll see you next week!" That would be my prayer...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Spirit Week.

It's Homecoming Week at AHS. I forgot that today was Hawaiian Day (sorry, Janelle). Fortunately, the kind AHS secretary, Deana, allowed me to borrow a plastic lei, so I could blend in with all the cool kids.

Thursday is 80's day, and all the kids are pulling out their crimpers and leg warmers. Candace and Amy want me to go thrift store shopping with them tomorrow. I say, "well, like, totally!"

If you have a favorite 80's memory, you should post it, for the general populace to read and reflect. I think my favorite 80's toys were my Optimus Prime Transformer and my battery-powered Voltron.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Sundays at the Donnelson's.

Every Sunday night, there's a YD-sponsored home group Bible Study at the Donnelson's. There are about 30 kids who regularly attend, and I've been going the past few weeks just to meet more kids to network from. (Most of these kids attend the Donnelson's church and are already plugged in, but the Bible Study still has a very open/evangelistic feel.)

Last night, I stayed upstairs with the freshman/sophomore group and participated in the discussion led by a YD volunteer. It's definitely difficult for me to sit back and NOT lead, but I definitely don't want to be interfering with the integrity of an established group that doesn't need my interference.

I talked to four of the girls that were there last night, all of whom are Christians and all of whom have a church home. I encouraged them to come to Monday nights at my apartment as a ministry opportunity, since I have two girls right now who have no church home at all. The girls seemed excited about this, and it would be great to help them develop good leadership by building relationships with my Monday girls.

So, hopefully, we'll see one or two of them tonight! It think that would be just stellar. Kids reaching kids with the gospel.


insurance company just called. all is clear for chiropractic bills! Hurrah! Will not have to refinance mortgage to pay for curvy spine ( not have mortgage...)

Friday, September 24, 2004


Months ago, I asked everyone to pray for my nose, and suddenly all was well--and it wasn't broken.

Well, now my neck and back are KILLING me (all related to the same car wreck in June). I'm going to the chiropractor this afternoon, but I'm a bit worried about getting it all worked out with the insurance (having cancelled the insurance with the claim and now having a pre-existing claim for my new health insurance)...although at this point it doesn't matter, because I have to go to the Chiropractor or I will become a bed-ridden 23-year-old hunchback.

Please pray that I do not become a hunchback, and that the insurance companies are benevolent.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Students outside Arlington High School praying during "See You at the Pole." The AHS building opened in Fall 2003, and it's HUGE. Posted by Hello

Here's me in my most frequently visited spot--my desk in the office. Please take special note of my pretty fridge and the "brown sugar" paint on the walls. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Associate Director

I have an official job title: Associate Director for Youth Dynamics Arlington. Doesn't that sound important and official. There you go Mom. You can keep telling people I'm a Youth Pastor, OR, you can tell them I'm an Associate Director for a parachurch youth ministry. ooOOOoohhhh...

And by the way, one of the girls whom I took Bible shopping has already read and highlighted the first six chapters of John! She's hardcore.

Monday, September 20, 2004


I have just achieved an important Rite of Passage for any Youth Pastor--I have played Halo on X-Box. Saturday night, at a friend's birthday party, one of my YD friends networked three X-Boxes together so twelve us could play Halo, a horribly bloody, gruesome game. I think that in two hours, I died appx. 147 times, but I am now a real Youth Pastor, because I play X-Box. This is important. Legions of young people will now be drawn to Jesus because Heather, that cool blonde girl with Bronco, will play X-Box with them and then teach them about Jesus.

Since playing the game, however, I have felt the need to duck from snipers while walking outside. Overall, I do not think the game has improved my quality of life.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Home Football Game #2.

This time I knew ten kids. This is exactly ten times the amount of kids I knew at the last home game. I even learned the "Rock the Mullet" dance. Chelsea said I was "awesome."

Friday, September 17, 2004

Shopping for Bibles is FUN!

Yesterday, I took two Arlington YD girls shopping for their very own Bibles. These girls are my "inner circle" right now--they were on the Owyhee trip and they're in Monday Bible Study. Neither of them had their own Bibles! So Bronco gave me the checkbook and told me to go get them some.

We had a blast, leafing through the books and trying to make a decision. My deep thinker girl went with a small black leather trimline NIV with her name inscribed in silver, and my fun-loving girl went with Red and Gold two-tone leather NIV with her name inscribed in red!

We enjoyed coffee at Starbucks while we were waiting for the Bibles to be inscribed, and all they could talk about was how excited they were about their new Bibles and how they couldn't wait for the next Monday Night Bible Study so they could USE them!

When the saleslady finally handed them over, their jaws dropped, and one girl said, "I'm going to keep the box and the bag forever."

I'd like to give a shout out to Zondervan for publishing some high quality Bibles that my girls are proud to own! And I'd like to give a big shout out to my girls for being so excited about the Bible.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

have cold, will travel.

my annual fall cold has hit a bit early, i think because it started raining last week. i'm all sniffly and taking a few afternoons off work just to nap. feel very icky!

yesterday, i managed to drag myself out of bed at 6:30am (a real feat for me) to go up to the High School for "See You at the Pole" a nationwide day of prayer for students, where they gather around the school flagpole to pray before school starts. i never attended "See You at the Pole" when i was in High School, but it was great to watch the 40 students gather to pray and have some conversations with the kids who were watching.

one kid told me, "they're making me uncomfortable. so i don't think they should be allowed to do that. because that's the reason i'm not allowed to wear my confederate flag."

an interesting observation.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Knightesses of the Round Table.

Last evening, four girls and I gathered around my kitchen table for coffee and caramel apples and popcorn and doritos and laughed hysterically about very funny things that girls never talk about in the presence of guys.

I was all prepared with my prompter questions, which sparked humorous outbursts like one girl's "I want to be reborn as a WHITE TIGER!" or "I wish I had an unlimited charge account at SAFEWAY!" I think the combination of the coffee, the caramel and the Pez pushed us a bit over the edge, but regardless, the five of us had a lot of fun, and we ended up not really needing the prompter questions.

We had a great conversation about beauty, our favorite passage we read in Scripture being Prov. 11:22: "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout/ So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion."

The best part of the whole conversation really, was that everyone recognized the middle ground--that beauty is part of WHO GOD IS, and we shouldn't be hiding our beautiful selves, because come on--God used Esther and all those OT beauties in powerful ways. But we talked about the motivations of our hearts as it relates to beauty--and how we can wield beauty as a power that can be for good (bringing Christ glory) or evil (dishonoring our bodies, or causing Christian brothers to stumble).

The girls had a fun, fun time, and they're all excited to come back next week, when two more would be joining us. The number of girls is solid, and for now I'm quite content to develop quality relationships with the six before working at expansion.

One of my girls gave me a BIG hug before she left and said, "Thank you so much for inviting me. Will I see you at school tomorrow?" Hooray!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Hotties for Jesus!

Girls' Bible Study/Fellowship begins toNIGHT at 7pm Pacific Time! I'm all excited and nervous, you know, like the first day of camp, when you KNOW it will be fun, but also know you have to work through the low ropes course and play 500 name games. We don't have a low ropes course in my apartment though, so we will skip that part of "Get to Know You."

I'm up to my elbows in articles about inner beauty and external beauty, because this may or may not be our topic for the first few weeks, depending on response and interest. My favorite article so far is all about Esther and how attractive she was and how God used her attractiveness for Him! I like to think that I could use my amazingly smashing good looks for God, or at least that I could help these girls give their outward appearances over to God. Then we could call ourselves "Hotties for Jesus" and tell other girls about the ULTIMATE fashion designer--Jesus! Woohoo! Okay--maybe that's a bit extreme, and taking me back to my days at Fashion Camp at Camp Aldersgate...and maybe I'll let the girls name the group themselves.

Pray for my girls! I'm excited!

Friday, September 10, 2004

A Shot of Mt. Baker from the top of Mt. Erie. I tell everyone that I own the mountain because my dad discovered it. Posted by Hello

A Nice photo of me atop Mt. Erie in Anacortes, Washington on Labor Day. In the background, you can faintly see the Olympic Mountains! Posted by Hello

A photo of the girls at our "Apartment Warming Party." L-R: YD friends Tina and Jade, Roommate Corrie, and Me. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Re-Directed Vision.

Our biggest prayer these last few weeks has been, "How, Lord, do you want us to go about having a drop-in center, and if it is not your will--then where do we go?"

Our first option was to reopen "The Mud Hut," an idea which both Bronco and I were hesitant about mostly for Risk Management reasons (the facility is located on the third floor of a smoky American Legion lounge, and it was neither a healthy environment nor an easy to monitor environment.) We were also at a lack for volunteer staff and needed to take a bit of time before reopening to recruit and train.

Our second option was to join up in partnership with a local church, which has a brand-new street-level facility available and ready to perform magical youth ministry. They are in the process of building an indoor skate park and a concert stage and are ready to bring unchurched kids in the doors. It seemed that partnering with them was a great option when we met last week because we share such similar vision and passion--only, we did not know at the time--that during our conversations there had been a huge miscommunication!

It was our assumption that we would help the church run a drop-in night on a night separate from their youth group, and it was the youth pastor's assumption that we would be participating in their scheduled Wednesday night program. After realizing this, it no longer falls within the vision of our ministry to be so heavily involved in one church youth group, and it does not fall within the vision of their ministry to use the youth center for anything beyond Wednesday night youth group.

So once again, we are back to the second half of our prayer--"if it is not your will for us to be directly involved in drop-in ministry, then where are we to go?" So Bronco and I are reexamining how we will go about our jobs and what our daily jobs will look like. Suddenly, in not being directly involved in a drop-in center, my key focuses become #1--meeting and interacting with kids at Arlington High School--and #2--discipling a small group of youth girls in a home group fellowship/Bible study.

It seems like my job will change now from working at a drop-in center to encouraging the kids I work with at #1 and #2 to go to existing programs at local churches, which can certainly include the one church's youth center. Bronco described it as, "When people ask us what we do, we'll say that we meet kids at the High School and drive them to church," which is certainly not a bad or unnecessary role for us to fill--it's just a bit of a re-directed role.

The Lord is certainly directing all of it, and it's not our intent to cling to drop-in ministry just because we love it so much...For now it feels like we're relinquishing our plastic pearl necklace back to God, waiting to see if He will choose to keep it or hand us back something more refined. Either way, we're definitely supposed to hand it back to Him.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Arlington Eagle Football...

As in most small towns, high school football in Arlington is a big deal. School doesn't start until tomorrow, but last Friday was the first home game. Bronco and I went, mostly just to go, and hopefully to meet up with any kids we might know.

I knew one kid!

So I enjoyed the game, enjoyed the roof over the heads of the spectators (evidently, it might rain for a few of these games!), and sat there a bit overwhelmed at how many students I don't know. I wasn't mentally ready to walk up to a group of high school girls and introduce myself, so I shied away from the kids for the most part...but I did spend a lot of time watching them and praying for them, and praying for God to show me how He's going to use me in the lives of these kids this year.

The next home game is in two weeks, and by then, school will be in session, I will have met a few more kids at the school, and maybe a few of the girls I know will want to accompany me to the game.

I am having a bit of an emotional struggle in buying my Arlington Eagle's gear--because their colors are veeery similar to this school up North that we Buckeyes grit our teeth at every November...I'm praying for the Lord to ease my hardened heart so that I can wear my Arlington Navy Blue and Gold with pride while saying to myself, "It's gold and blue, not maize and blue..that's very different."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A prayer for a united vision.

A few weeks back I talked about the drop-in center YD helped run called "The Mud Hut."

Today, Bronco and I met two youth pastors from two different churches in the area. One church has an extremely nice facility available that they are seeking to expand into a very outreach-oriented facility specifically for youth. The other church is a stakeholder in "The Mud Hut" and would like to be a part of a drop-in center ministry while continuing to use "The Mud Hut's" current facility.

There are lots of details, but basically, the question and sentiment is, "Can Arlington churches gather together in cooperation for a community-wide drop-in center?" There is an amazing facility available which holes lots of potential, and is God calling us to gather together as the Body of Christ to work together as one group to operate an effective community-wide drop-in ministry?

I'm very excited about the potential that we have to work together across denominational lines, and even today I worry--will Satan attack us on these denominational boundaries and lines of church politics to keep the local churches divided...because the potential of this facility is amazing, and if we really could rally together our resources, hundreds of Arlington's teens would be impacted and integrated into the local churches.

I also think--if we could work together effectively--what an amazing model it would be for the kids--to see churches working together... The kids are often cynical, and they see the church as a place with walls. What if we could show them a functioning church without walls? What kind of a witness could this be?

I'm asking you to pray this week for the vision of a youth center in Arlington. A united vision with a united community behind it. Things are still very tentative, but right now it feels like the potential is huge and God's will is slowly being revealed.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Still Recovering

Last night my roommate was asleep by 9:00pm, and I was asleep by 9:30pm. Golf Marathon is still waging its toll on us! My roommate has a good excuse--she caddied for 100 holes and was up at 4:30am to start her Monday. This, however, does not make me feel untired for only having caddied for 40 holes. In fact, I believe I have met my golfing quota for 2004, and I will have to wait until 2005 before I am able to view another golf course again.