Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of one, beginning to another...

2011 will end. There is nothing we can all do to stop time, it is inevitable that they year ends as we track it on the calendar. It not only will end, it will end in a little under 45 hours. These 45 hours will be spent doing millions of things, working, spending time with family and friends, sleeping, in the bathroom, and blogging on the Internet.

I am presently sitting in the basement of my house with my wife and we are spending time together awaiting a trip to Bellefonte, PA to visit friends for New Years. We will spend the remaining hours together with them and their son watching the ball drop in New York, watching time pass and 2011 become 2012.

Now, as years pass their is a tradition in place, that people will set resolutions for themselves. Maybe it is to eat better. To be a better person or parent or child. Maybe it is to exercise or do something good for you. It may be to take up a new hobby. However we all seem to set them.

In 2012, there is a movement online called 365 Days. It is intended for people to do something each day. Sometimes it is photos, journal, or making something. The most recent I saw was 365 days of Blogging and it is intended for people to not just blog everyday, but on some topic. Now, I am not claiming to be able to be able to keep up with 365 posts or some of them will be the equivalent of "HI"! What I am proposing is that this blog be updated every week at least.

Now the question is, "what do you write about for a year"? Not just that, but "how do we make it interesting"?

Well here is what I propose....YOU ALL CHECK IN JANUARY 1, 2012 and see what topic is chosen and see what youth have to say and what is on their minds on the topic.

See you in the NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So this is Christmas

I began as the youth director at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in 2004. Before I joined UDLC, in the Middle East, a war had been underway for a little over a year. A friend of mine, Chris had joined 1,000's of other men and women who went over seas to fight for his country.

Over the past, 7.5 years, I have seen men and women leave and come back. I have talked to and met some of these returning vets and seen what fighting can do to a person.

In the last year, I saw one of the students, who traveled with our group to multiple summer projects, who I worked with in catechism classes. I watched him then stand up and in front of the congregation announce that in the face of all the conflict world wide and after a year in college he was joining the Army. Not just join the Army, but the infantry. Not to just join the fight, but to be on the ground fighting. He was willing to put his life in harms way for his country.

Sam is not alone. Now, I don't mean joining the Army, but in looking beyond himself to see how he could help the greater good, the world, and serve his fellow man. Many times our students see things bigger than themselves. They see how the world needs them and they answer.

Now, not everyone is joining the military, but they hear a call. A call to serve with Chosen 300 or to travel down to the Appalachian Communities and meet the families and learn from them, work and serve with them. They take up causes, walk to raise money for charity or just offer a listening ear or hug when needed.

So this Christmas and what have you done? Another day is over and new one is, well beginning. What will you do before the year is out and what will you do next year? What will you do to make this world better?

People often talk about all the bad, but often we stop before we can look to the good and what good we can bring. So as we all open gifts, serve food, enjoy time together and take time to enjoy what we have this year, maybe find a way to bring that to others who may or may not have it.

  • Open and hold a door for someone.
  • Smile and say hello to a stranger (in appropriate situations)
  • Carry bags to a car or the house for a neighbor or someone you can see who needs it.
  • Take the time to ask and then listen to how someone's day is going.
  • Use basic manners. Hello, thank you; You're Welcome will do more than you know to brighten people's spirits.

I opened this post with a video by John Lennon about War being over and now I leave you to ponder another song by Lennon and sung by someone it affected deeply.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Time for a break?

No, we are not going to stop updating the blog, it is more time for a break from the hustle and bustle of the season and crowds. We all need to take time to stop and take a break and remember why we as Christians celebrate Christmas. Not the secular Santa, Reindeer, decorations, and the like, but the birth of Jesus.

I found an interesting post by someone else and rather than go on about this, I think this sums it up nicely.

God is Love

Christmas is all about love

Christmas is thus about God and Love

Love is the key to peace among all mankind

Love is the key to peace and happiness within all creation

Love needs to be practiced - love needs to flow - love needs to make happy

Love starts with your partner, children, and friends and expands to all world

God bless

all mankind