Friday, September 09, 2005


Recently I viewed a disturbing video of the damage caused by hurricane Katrina. Follow this link to view it. Be ready to be moved!

Wednesday night we talked about band-aid compassion. Sometimes we do things to help others that appears we are helping the situation. For example you don't walk up to a guy ready to jump off a building and just hand him a phone number to suicide prevention and tell him they can help him. You have to get under the jumper's skin and help fix the problem. You have to find out why he is there and what is troubling him. You have to talk him down.

When Jesus healed people He got to the root of the problem. Imagine you were living at the time of Jesus. Also imagine that Jesus just happened to leave to get a Slurpee at 7-11 (middle school illustration). A blind guy comes up to you and asks to be healed. What do you do?

Some of the responses from my students ranged from "I would go get Jesus" to "I would tell the guy that Jesus will be right back." But when I asked what could "YOU" do for this guy, they understood the challenge. They knew they couldn't heal him but they could do something.

"I could learn his name," "I could ask if he needed food or water," "I could pray with him," and "I could talk to him," these were the responses I got from my students. Bringing it home, I helped them understand that they might not have the opportunity to go to the Gulf States to help but there are things they could do to help. Send money, food, pray, encourage, etc. In a real sense I could get to know their names. I could get them food and water. I can pray with them. I can talk to them.

Doug Fields has an opportunity just like that to help local churches in that area too. You help financially a church or youth group and you are given a contact there to communicate with. An opportunity to ask them, "What can I do for you?" An opportunity to not only help but to know them, by name! This is what our youth group will doing. To learn more follow this link.

Finally I wanted the students to see that it sometimes goes beyond just giving food to help the homeless shelter. It goes beyond just giving clothes to the Salvation Army. And maybe it goes beyond prayer. God asks us to get involved, one on one.

Matthew 25:35-36

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.Â’

Thanks to Group Publishing for this lesson on Band-Aid Compassion
"Understanding God Together: 13 Bible Studies for Youth Ministry"
God is Compassionate

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


This morning I went outside to get the morning paper to see quite a commotion going on outside. In front of my home was an unfamiliar car. There seemed to be many people passing by my home. But then I noticed that there were many children in these groups of people. All of these children sharply dressed.

It is kind of funny, I feel bad that I forgot what day it was. Many parents consider today a holiday, even though it is not on the calendar. For many years I too would dress my daughters in their best clothes for this special day. But this year is different. This year none of my children were going to be experiencing this type of first day of school. All of my children have graduated from high school. Currently one of my daughters is attending college to earn her nursing degree.

This year I didn't have to rush over to Mervyn's to buy pretty dresses and matching socks. This year I didn't have to rush off to Staples to buy backpacks, notebooks and pencils. This year I didn't need to rush to Vons to buy lunch stuff.

In a way I don't miss it. I am excited to see what happens next. Many things have been happening in my life and my family's life this year. Some of these things are exciting and some of these things suck. I have made some life long friendships and I have broken relationships. I have gotten to marry couples and I have watched couples break apart. I have laughed this summer and I have cried more than I ever have this summer.

But I look forward to where God is leading me. There seems to always be a new adventure.