Monday, July 30, 2007

Day 1 by the Youth Group

Daniel: It’s hot. Hi Mom and Dad and Steve. Love you. We moved a bunch of desks and bookcases for a Catholic priest’s home. Our crew members are nice.

Kristen: hi everybody! I miss you all! WE have had loads of fun but (sorry mom) I got a paint stain on a pair of my blue jeans! People have been making fun of my southern accent and my FERRCRACKER! When we get in the car we play the JEEP GAME! It is so fun because New York has loads of Jeeps! I love it here so far and I can’t wait to see Ya’ll! Can you believe they don’t say ya’ll or sucker in New York!! THE AMISH PEOPLE WERE SO COOL! Well I love you and miss you all! I love you, dawn, with all my heart and I miss her little smile! Everybody is so nice and I’ve already made new friends!!! Love you all! BYE!!

Lauren: WHADDUP PLAYER, haha. The car ride was smooth, tight quarters, but livable. We enjoy all the weird road signs (Gorham [= ). It’s been really hot up in “hurr”. We got a shower today [Monday]. I did Avalanche Ranch, again, it was fun, they weren’t as enthusiastic as Kathie and Lisa. I can’t wait until tomorrow, free night. Ohkay done. [=

Stephanie: Hey, Stokesdale! It’s soooo fun up here!! The ride up here went by really fast because I slept for a lot of it. Even so, I am so tired!!! We got our crew assignments last night. At first, I was really ticked off because no else from Crossroads was in my crew. For all of last night and this morning, I hardly said anything to my crew. (Shocking, I know.) But as the day went on, I started talking more and found out that the people in my crew are really a lot of fun!!!! My crew and I helped with migrant farmers’ kids. They’re all Spanish. I didn’t know how much English they spoke, so it was weird for a while. After a while, the kids started talking more and it was a lot of fun. In the afternoon, we painted a storage building. I’m sooooooo tired but it’s really fun!!!!!!!!!!

Meredith: The trip so far has been pretty good so far. Its NOTHING like what I expected. There are not as many people I expected, but I‘m cool with that. My crew’s project involves working with people from an assisted living center. Some of them have AHMAZING stories. I miss being back home in north Carolina. Everybody makes fun of our accents, that we didn’t even know we had.

Stacey: The trip up to New York went pretty good, but it was pretty tight. We had some pretty interesting conversations and we made up a game where we yell JEEP! when we see a jeep. Our room is small but still fun to be with each other. My work crew is amazing, I love them. We are going to a nursing home and planting flowers, pulling weeds, and just working in the gardens. I think it’s hilarious how the people up call sodas pop. Haha. Well, so far I have had fun.

Brianna: Hey yall!!!!! I’m a southerner!!!! It has been really fun so far!! The trip up here was sooooo fun!! But it was kinda cramped. Our van played the random game where someone says a word and the next person says something that reminds them of that word. Some of the words were Soooooo random!! But it was fun. Sometime we played the JEEP!!! game where you yell JEEP when you see a JEEP!!! Oh my gosh!! So any way I like my crew and the place that im working. Im working at a place called The VA medical center. One of the mottos here at the camp Is “Work nice, be nice!!!” and Ken is like, going overboard with saying that to us!! But its all good!! You know how he likes to tease us and stuff. I miss y’all mom and dad and Michael!! And all my friends that will see this maybe. See you when I get home on Friday!!!

Rebecca: Ok, well I’m having a pretty good time. I thought that I wouldn’t like it at all but it’s pretty cool. I’ve met a lot of new people and one that’s blind who is really cool. I’m really tired and the sleeping arrangements aren’t the best but I think we’ll manage. Anyways I’m having fun and actually talking to people I don’t even know when most of the time I wouldn’t even talk to anyone. But that’s all so peace out and see you peeps when I return.

Cecily: My favorite part of the trip up here was the seeing the Amish people and the giant marsh-Lellows and the JEEP game!! JEEP!! JEEP!!! The sleeping arrangements aren’t amazing or anything close. The food has been pretty good so far... but I’ve only had pizza and cereal. My work crew has been working at this assisted living place (for old people) and we played games with them and listened to their stories. That was interesting. Its been pretty hot. Oh yeah the WORST part is the whole WAKING UP AT 5:30!!! I hate that!! Other than that.. its been good so far.

Lisa: Canandaigua is a beautiful little town; it’s very similar to our area of NC. Of course they don’t “talk” like we do. Everybody wants to hear us speak! My crew delivers lunches to low income kids at area playgrounds. There are five others in my crew (all girls) and we are enjoying getting to know one another.

David: This is a fun place. It has the feel of a small resort town. Lake Canandaigua is right at the south end of town. Our crew went to help a disabled lady by cleaning her house. The first thing she wanted us to do was clean her ceiling. No kidding. Her house was actually quite clean, and I know why. She had us pull out her furniture and dust the backs. She was very grateful for our help. We’ll be helping someone else tomorrow. My crew includes five kids, and all of us are from different states.

Ken: Whasssuppp! Crossroads Family!!!! We had a great day today. I met my crew: Travis, Jenna, Rikki, Lauren and Tim. We spent the day painting at an assisted living home, and we also got to fellowship with the residents of the house. I am tired, but energized by the youth’s exuberant attitudes and giving spirit. Please pray for us, but so
far we are all being blessed in numerous ways. Talk at ya tomorrow.

Kathie: Hi. I am working nice and being nice. I read the book. I stepped in sewage, was stung by stinging nettles, and scratched by briars. Life is good (actually, it is!)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

NY, Here We Come!

In just a few hours, our youth group will begin the journey to Canandaigua, NY for our first mission trip. We will be helping disabled veterans, special needs children and helping out in ways that we don’t know yet.

Please pray for us as we travel and as we minister. We will be meeting people and impacting them for the kingdom of God. And we will also be touched by the Holy Spirit. He’s got plenty to do in our lives as well.

We have nine teenagers and four adults traveling in two minivans. We’ll leave early, early Sunday morning and return on Friday, Aug. 3, around 9 p.m.

If time and internet access allow, I’ll keep you posted on our adventure!

Wake-Up Call

I was shocked to hear about Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser’s death on Thursday. He was such a straight shooter. He never thought too highly of himself and he never made excuses. If his team did poorly, he admitted it and took responsibility. When his team did well, he congratulated them and gave them the credit.

He truly cared about his players. He wanted them to play well, but more importantly, he wanted them to develop as individuals. He viewed his job as teaching. Basketball was the skill he taught.

I appreciate what he did to turn the Joel Coliseum into a rocking place to play, with noise and spirit. He really got the students into the action. Go Deacs!

For Skip to die at age 56 is a real gut-check for me. He was only 11 years older than I am. I have been listening all my life to the truisms about life being too short. Yeah, yeah. But I think I’m beginning to get it, to understand it. Even if we are in good health and stay active, we are not guaranteed another day.

All we have is today, and we may not have all of that.

Our days are in God’s hands, of course. He gives us our time and our talents. We are merely stewards of these resources. What matters is whether we invest them wisely. We don’t necessarily need to do more. We may need to do less, slow down and enjoy the moments. We may need to cut out a certain activity, just because our time is more valuable than that. We may need to begin doing something that’s important. As we seek the Lord, he will show us.

Skip Prosser (1950-2007) now has both dates filled in, in the parentheses after his name. We, the living, have only the first date filled in. Unless the Lord returns soon, we will all eventually have the second date filled in. Then we will be history.

That is really humbling to me. It makes me want to use these days and years to enjoy Jesus and share him with abandon.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wah Hoo!

Our Vacation Bible School was such a blast! Today we gave our Worship Celebration time to the Avalanche Ranchers, and they showed us that they went on a wild ride through God’s word.

All the crew leaders and station leaders put their hearts into it and had a fun time with the kids. The teen helpers helped out the crew leaders, giving them a hand with the campers. I think the teens also enjoyed the wild ride.

I enjoyed watching the kids laugh and play, all while learning about Jesus. They looked with amazement at the Bible stories and special demonstrations. They danced with abandon during the Avalanche Ranch songs. They enjoyed getting others wet during our Ranch games.

Today, they shared it all with their families – well, except for getting wet. They could not wait to bring their parents in on the ride. God shared his love, and he used us in the process.

We also celebrated the baptism of three young ladies today. And then we had a pool party. God has been at work all around us! Wah Hoo!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Words

I read in the paper today that new words have been added in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. They added words like “crunk,” a type of Southern-style rap music; “speed dating,” a way of channel surfing people of the opposite sex; and “ginormous,” a hybrid word, combining giant and enormous. It means, “extremely large.” Duh.

They added these and about 100 other words to the dictionary. They want to make sure that words are not passing fads, but are truly becoming part of the vernacular. They check for usage of the words in informal and formal writing to make sure that the words are broadly accepted.

There are some critics who insist on the purity of language and oppose such additions to the dictionary. They seem to advocate virtually no change in vocabulary at all.

However, reading just about any older book will show you how the English language has changed. I can read a book from the 1950s and quickly pick up on turns of phrase that we no longer use. It seems the older the book, the more glaring the contrast between “now-speak” and “then-speak.” Have you read a Shakespeare play lately? Did people really talk like that in the 1500s?

The New Testament is a collection of writings from the first century. These are old writings in the Greek language. We don’t talk that way anymore. Even people who speak Greek don’t talk that way anymore. But the NT was written in the language of the day. It was written in Koiné Greek, the street language, the slang language of the day. It was intended for a ginormous audience of regular people.

That’s why we need to keep expressing the truth of the Bible in common, everyday language. Ordinary people need to hear its message. The important thing is that the message from God has not changed. Human nature has not changed. We still need redemption, and Jesus is the only Redeemer.

Someone once said that language is like a river. It constantly flows. You can dam up a river, but then it is no longer a river. You can try to stop all changes in language, but then you just have an obsolete dictionary.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

We Made It!

Our drive to NY was smooth. We made good time and had no problem.
We are adjusting to our living arrangements and feeding schedules. Walmart is close by, and that has helped.

Today we begin our various work projects. We’ll let you know more after today!

Ken: Things are awesome. We are going to “Work nice, be nice.”

Lisa: We are going to “Look in the book.”

Kathie: Jeep! JEEP!