Tuesday, May 29, 2007

my boys are on me for good!

i always get asked if i have a picture of my boys on me... now i can always say, "yes right here on my arm"!

Friday, May 25, 2007

uywi 07 is over

well the 10th anniversary of the urban youth workers institute is over. i have heard great comments about the event and many who have been at the event numerous times have stated that it was the best ever. i am glad that people also are stating that they loved the workshops and the diversity... not to pat myself on the back, but my love language is words of affirmation, so i will. lol. it made me feel great to here the comments, because i spent most of my time since last october trying to put together an amazing team of presenters that would help bring a diverse amount of topics that will really support the urban leaders across america.

i was encouraged to here from crissy brooks of mika cdc that in her gentrification workshop that she had fifteen cities from around the country represented. i heard from other people that it seemed like more people traveled from around the country to attend the event this year. we even had someone travel from africa to be with us.

so i now have a week off and have many things i should do... but we will see what i do get down. as i am writing this post i am looking at my house that i do need to clean... but i have already golfed once and am hoping that i get two more in before i go back.

so i hope everyone of you have a great memorial and hopefully i will be able to read more and post more since conference is over. i have been intrigued with some conversation with antibaptist people, so i may read some of that... they have this view of trying to see god in your enemy... i need a lot of help with the loving enemy thing, so it may be helpful. oh yeah ... baseball is over as well, so that allows more free time to.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

what a week...

i just posted earlier today about the death of james. i also was present at a funeral yesterday for a student who committed suicide on may 2. he was a sophomore at alhmabra high school. a friend of mine mary glenn, who is a police chaplain for alhambra asked a few youth pastors and people who work with kids in the community to be present for the funeral to talk and pray with any students who needed to process. the funeral was a packed house... held down the street from the high school at 330 pm gave the students a chance to be present to grieve and mourn the death of a friend. it was an honor to be able to be present.

i also have been getting continual updates from pasadena on a student who was shot. i have been reminded this week that death is real, no matter the age or the person. all 3 people that i am connected in one way or another were killed or severely injured in different ways. as i write this i am emotionally drained, but also see the value of a community of faith. the presence of mary glenn and others in alhambra standing by the family and my friends in pasadena standing by the family as there son lay wounded. it is very evident when evil and darkness enter in... it can be pushed back by the forces of light when we choose to be jesus for people. it allows hope to creep into all of the despair.

james banez... thank you

my high school years as many of you know, were not focused on serving god in any way. my parents went to a large church.... ok a huge church. the high school group in itself is probably bigger than 95% of the churches in the country. here is a snap shot of what my sunday morning would consist of as i appeased my parents to roll with them to church. i would take a seat in the luxury foyer of the building that the youth ministry was housed in and would than be approached by different leaders who would introduce themselves to me and act like it was the first time they met me and my first time there. you see a kid with ben davis pants and a white t-shirt was not the normal attire. lol. i would usually give them different names than my real name just for fun. we met mostly as a large group in some big room. but once in awhile we would break off into small groups and not meet as a large group. this is when i met james banez... he was a college student that drove a vw van that was painted like a cow with bull horns in the front. he was the small group leader for about 5 of us. i got connected with that group because i guy that i had played basketball with before was in that group. james was filipino which was nice since everyone else was white. yeah i am white... but i thought i was mexican. haha. (side note i use to pray to god that i could be mexican... i'm not kidding, yes i had issues).

james really tried to connect with me... he always remembered my name, he was more interested in talking with us and having a meaningful conversation that making sure we got through some talk sheet or some agenda. he was interested in us and desired us to follow christ. he called and i usually brushed him off for those church beach trips and swim things or any other youth event. but in those dark days of my life... james was the one person that kept a refreshing view of christ and the church in front of me. he really meant a lot.

i am sad to say that james died last week. he was hit by a hit n run driver as he was traveling to the bay area. i have not seen his since high school but maybe once. but he did know that i actually turned out alright and i did get to tell him thanks. he leaves a wife who is pregnant and three children already. pray for his family i have no idea the pain they are feeling. i just wanted to say one more time ... thank you to james banez who gave me my first lesson in what it looks like to do relational youth ministry.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bulls Bulls Bulls

i just had to make a quick post to remind laker fan that kobe is done for the year and the baby bulls are on to the second round. YES!