The Lessons We Learn

In early March, my Grandma was diagnosed with terminal bile duct cancer. Terminal and cancer are such painful words and too often we hear them in regard to people in our lives that we love and cherish. Let me tell you a little bit about my Grandma McKee. Many would call her a non-traditional grandma. She had a strong faith and lived it out daily. I...
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Something New

The start of fall always feels kind of like New Year’s Eve to me... a time when I can reset and start a new routine. I get back into a familiar rhythm and try to find a healthy balance. It’s also exciting to see faces of youth after the summer and see incoming middle school and high school students who are experiencing those roles for the first time. The start of something new can sometimes be scary. Sometimes it’s easier to stick with what we know, versus trying something new. I know for me, the night before any youth trip or big youth activity, I don’t sleep well. I worry will everything run smoothly, will I be able to keep everyone safe, will I say the right things and remember to do everything I’m supposed to do. But, on the other hand, trying something new can also be exciting. I...
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Living Out a Mission

Summer is an exciting time for youth and young adult ministry. For most people, the summer schedule is a time that tends to be a little quieter. For me, it’s pretty busy. Summer is a time when students are out of school and have the ability to participate in mission trips, summer picnics in the park, college age Bible studies, the backpacking trip or the beach camp-out. At the beginning of the year, I talked about when I was in high school and my first experience on a mission trip to Colorado. Through the ability of Facebook, I actually found a picture from that trip (I’m the second one on the left). Amazingly after all these years, I can actually name every person in that photo and I keep in touch with many of them. It was life changing for me. As I’m writing this, I’m also preparing for the high...
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Changed for Good - Mission Trips this Summer

"How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action." 1 John 4: 17-18  When I hear the words “Here for Good” my thoughts immediately go to service and the ways in which we can use our time, talents and financial resources to help others. When I was in high school, I went with my church youth group (with my mom as a chaperone) on my first ever mission trip. We worked in Loveland, CO, doing home repairs, in soup kitchens and with Urban Servant Corps before heading up to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp to hike and enjoy the outdoors. I remember how amazing it was to drive in the mountains for the first time, to work in an urban...
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Jesus with Us

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 I'm sure that many of you know the poem Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson. If you haven't read it, I think it is worth looking up. With Easter approaching, I've been thinking about Jesus in our lives and accompaniment...walking alongside us (or carrying us, when needed). A personal story of accompaniment for me took place in October, 2013. I had decided to run my first full marathon (26.2 miles). For months I had trained, but I think you truly...
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