I am almost done reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. In the great memoir by Walls, she recounts her childhood as a part of a nomadic family that was always moving from state to state. He dad was a radical man who moved his family because of legal reasons and to not be found. Her mother was an artist, but never made it anywhere with her art. Walls life was up and down and some places she lived her and her family became pretty wealthy, but only to move again and be poor. She goes through many hard things and she recounts all the good and bad of growing up in her bad environment. Near the end of the book, Walls recounts how she made it from that type of family to become a pretty successful woman making a living in New York City. Overall, this is a great book that really opens your eyes to how rough some children have it growing up in very tough environments. The next book on my list to read is The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. This interesting book is written by a Brown University student, Kevin Roose, who transfers to Liberty University for a semester to see what Evangelical Christians are all about. I have a few friends who have read it and really liked it so I believe I will enjoy it! I will post a review about it after I read it. But I would definitely recommend The Glass Castle to anyone who enjoys reading about people growing up in hard situations, but making it through to become a great person!
Here is a video that intrioduces the book and gives brief overview of what it’s all about:
A few days ago I posted a flyer that I made for a “Summer Sizziler Kickoff Carnival” that the student ministry I am involved in is doing. Like I said in that post, I do all the promotional flyers and the media stuff for that student ministry I am involved in. It is called The Grove Student Ministry (www.ugbcgrove.com). We are doing a study on Temptation this summer and they asked me to make a promotional flyer for the study to pass out and to get the word of to the students about the study that will go throughout this summer! This should be a great study that should really challenge the students to fight temptation in their everyday life! Here is the flyer I made:
Over the past two years I have really gotten into photo editing and making promotional stuff. Over the past two years as I have been a college leader at the student ministry at my church, The Grove Student Ministry (www.ugbcgrove.com), I have done many of the promotional flyer’s for events and such. During the summer, we have a program called “Summer Sizzilers” where we meet every Wednesday night for our services. To kickoff this years Summer Sizziler program, we are doing a huge outdoor carnival and also we will have our first Summer Sizziler service outside! Below is the flyer I made for this event:
Brian Baker, a Word of Life area missionary in North Carolina, posted a good blog over at his blog www.wolcarolina.wordpress.com. Brian and another North Carolina area missionary runs this blog. I was reading through a few of their posts and ran over one called “What Happened to Camp?” by Brian Baker and though I would re-post it on my blog so more people might come across it and read it. Brian points out some key reasons why summer camps are not as popular in our churches as they once was and he also points out why they are a good thing to keep up and take your students to every summer! Again, this is written by Brian Baker and I take no credit for it! Enjoy!
There is a growing trend in youth ministry over the last several years that I don’t particularly care for; fewer and fewer churches are taking their students to summer camp. Why is that? I think there are a variety of reasons. Here are a couple:
- We think this generation of students doesn’t think camp is cool. I am the first to admit that cool passed me by several years ago, but I do my best to stay in touch with youth culture and that simply isn’t true. Students of all ages love camp! Some of them have either never been, or never been to a good one.
- Mission trips have taken camps place. Before you tie me up and beat me over this one, let me explain. Do I think mission trips are vitally important? Absolutely! But think with me for a minute. What percentage of your students are going on your mission trips? 50% would be a high number. What are the rest of your students doing? Nothing! They are staying at home playing video games. Most of your mission trip students are majority Sr. High. What about your Middle School students? Give them a chance to go to camp.
Why camp? I thought you would never ask. I am going to use Word of Life Camp as an example (Word of Life is not the only camp out there, just the best!);
- Relevant Bible Teaching – Twice a day your students will hear the Bible taught in a way that is real, exciting and relevant to their lives. They will talk about issues that need to be handled with today’s students and they will do it Biblically.
- Clear Gospel Message with an invitation – Everyone of your students will hear the Gospel and be confronted with a decision.
- Great Counselors – It is amazing how your students will open up with their counselors (who happen to be Bible College students) and share their struggles with them.
- Campfire dedications – I was 17 years old, on Word of Life Island, at a campfire service when the Lord moved in my heart in such a way that my life has never been the same since. Each summer there are thousands of students and children that rededicate their lives to serve the Lord at the campfire service.
- Awesome activities – Your students will not get bored. There is constant activity and best of all, you don’t have to organize it.
- Jump-start your ministry – Camp will give your ministry the boost it needs to start the next year off with a bang.
I bought this book sometime last year, but I have never got around to reading it until now. I must say, I’ve only read the first two introduction chapters and it has been amazing! The things that are said by the author, Bill Perkins, are hard hitting and really motivates you to get serious about being a man of God.
In the first chapter, Perkins deals with finding Christ and living as thought nothing else matters exceptknowing God. This phrase is said many times in this chapter, “nothing else matters compared to knowing God and fighting at His side.” Wow, every time I think about that statement, it really convicts me to live my life fully for God and living to know Him better and to fight for the things He values! Perkins also deals with his own salvation experience in this first chapter. He brings out the point that from the time he was saved until now, there sometimes seems to be a passive attitude that takes root over time. This is what he says, “That experience (salvation) changed my life. What disturbs me is that now, years later, while I still believe that nothing else matters compared to knowing God, I often live as though I don’t believe it. I struggle with spiritual passivity. It eats away at me as convertly as termites in the walls of my house. And I know that most men are weakened in the same way.” Those statements are very real Christian men today, and we must fight against the spiritual passivity that we all face! Perkins ends this first chapter with this simple question and answer, “How can we combat this passivity? We must choose to live with a focus on God.”
In the second chapter, Perkin deals with the describing the spiritual war that is wagging around us and in us between Satan and his demons who are out to destroy us and God and his angels that are watching over us. Perkin dives into the subject of why is life so hard in this chapter. He says, “The disoppointments of life arn’t intended to strip away at our manhood. God allowed every hardship you’ve experienced to strengthen you by driving you to Him.” I love how Perkins put this because that is something we all need to be reminded of. That God allows hardships in our life to drive us to Him. Perkins also says this, “Yet God allows you to get knocked down by hardship, discouragement, and even defeat as a means of toughing you up for a bigger battle.” As a child of God, God is constantly molding you and growing you into the image of His Son. He has big plans for us, big battles we must face, and God knows that even by putting hardship in our lives, He is getting us ready for something much bigger! Perkin also talks about King David’s mighty men that are talked about in the end of 2 Samuel. It is very interested what the Word of God says about these “mighty” men. 2 Samuel 22:2 says, “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader.” It seems that the mighty men were not always so mighty! God wants to make each of His men mighty and Godly men, but sometime we have to go through the hard times to get us there.
This is a great book that I would highly reccomment for any young man or older man who is interested in living a strong, Godly life for the Lord. I will post a few more blogs about it as I read this book.