There should be a topic somewhere...

>> July 18, 2008

i don't have a topic..............

so, Red team is almost 3,000,000 points ahead of blue team... can we keep it that way? probably not... right now i don't even have spirit.

Mission Kids camp went well. i'm glad it's over though.

i'm sleepy.

Timothy's birthday party was today. that was fun. I like hanging out with my parents' friends.

I think i'm gonna go watch Babylon 5 again.

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Mission Monday week 1

>> July 7, 2008

The youth group at church is doing a student ministry program all throughout this month called Mission Monday. We will be doing different activities of evangelism in and around Plano. This week Corinn, Clay, Callie, JoyAnna, Hayley, Victor, Pauline (one of the "french chicks" that the Purdy's are hosting), Kim Skaggs, and I showed up. Today we went to Stonebriar Mall and witnessed to complete strangers. It was nerve wracking to say the least, fantastic to say the most.

Before we left, Matt discussed what we were going to do, and Callie expressed the need to be saved, so Callie became a Christian today!

So, when we got to Stonebriar, Matt split the nine of us into three groups. I was with Hayley and Callie, and we were scared to death... I hate starting conversations. The first place we went was Hot Topic, since the people who work there are nice and tend to start conversations. The guy who worked there came up and asked what was up, and this is what I said: "Hey, can I tell you something fantastic?!?!" and he said sure. "When I was little I used to beat up on my brother!" And then I proceeded to finish my testimony... yeah. not the thing to say... I asked him if he had had a life changing experience, and he sarcastically replied: "oh yes, hundreds of times." and walked off. A little later, Hayley needed to throw something away, but the nearest trash can was right in front of Hot Topic. She went to throw it away, and the guy inside was glaring at her.

Obviously after that I felt intimidated... and really awkward... and I didn't want to talk to anyone else. No one else wanted to start a conversation either, so we found Matt, and he helped start us on a conversation with three girls. It turned out they were already Christians, but they let Callie practice giving her testimony to them.

After that, we talked with Kim, and it turned out that Clay had led a man to Christ!

After some time spent walking around, Callie, Hayley and I talked to a lady who was waiting for someone in front of the candy store. She was a Christian as well, but she let us practice on her, and then she shared about a time when she had really felt God's presence and power. She didn't seem to see how anyone could NOT believe and trust in God if they had seen the world around them. She was very encouraging.

We then met up with several people, and Kim went off with Hayley and Callie, and I walked around with Clay and Victor. We were supposed to find someone else to talk to, but we didn't. We ended up walking around aimlessly until it was time to meet everyone else in order to go back to the church.

It turns out, Kim also helped Hayley to lead someone to Christ!

In all we witnessed to about 10 people, and led 3 people to a relationship with Jesus (that includes Callie). I'd say that was a pretty fruitful afternoon.

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I'm SOO Lazy!

>> July 6, 2008

OK, I'll admit I stole this from my mother... cuz i'm lazy and I didn't wanna write about this in my own words... I have better things to do (not!)

Victor likes Cats!
No, not the furry, cute cuddly ones. Black Cats. The ones that have a short fuse and a loud boom.

We celebrated Independence Day a little differently this year. First, we declared our freedom by flying on Southwest to El Paso. Flying standby means taking the risk that you might be stuck in the airport for a few hours. I'm happy to say that didn't happen on the 4th, but we were the last 7 of 28 non-revs that flew on the first flight to El Paso on Friday. WE made the plane be completely full (Reuben almost had to ride on a jumpseat, but got moved to a regular one, so technically one more person could have gotten on the plane).

Once we got to El Paso, we rented a Dodge Grand Caravan from Advantage Car Rental. We got a brand new one that only had 2 miles on the odometer. We had to follow the maintenance guy to the garage so he could install the front license plate on the van. It had a DVD player, so our first stop was Target to buy movies for the road trip to Lordsburg.

The Target was part of a mall, so we shoe shopped for Laney. No luck. There must be a lot of girls in El Paso that wear size 4 shoes because we couldn't find a decent thing in her size. Naomi was lucky, however, she got some awesome high tops at Journeys that were 1/3 off plus I had a leftover Christmas gift card for an additional $6.71. I convinced her it was "now or never" for those shoes, so she bought them.

Okay, I'm way off the point of this story. What is the point? you ask. The point is good old fashioned "do it yourself" fireworks. We set out toward Lordsburg, NM to meet the Acostas and do fireworks the way they were intended to be done. What's more freeing than lighting those little fuses and waiting for results? In most cases, the results don't require much waiting at all. We got to Lordsburg around 4 o'clock. Checked into a lovely inn called "America's Best Value Inn". I proceeded to find Crystal and Carlos who had bought the stash of fireworks on the way into town. Carlos has the frequent buyer card, so he had to be in charge of the purchases.

I had told the kids we were going to experience fireworks the way I did them as a child. I was wrong about that. As a child we would buy a packs of Black Cats, maybe 1 roman candle, a box of sparklers, a dozen or so bottle rockets and a couple other assorted items. Our items generally filled a shoebox. We would separate the Cats out an make them last a few days. When I saw the "loot" Carlos had, I told the kids this wasn't exactly how I had celebrated. Carlos had 4 storage sized boxes of wonderful pyrotechnics! This was the stuff my brother and I had only dreamed about. He had a separate container for "my bottle rockets". Carlos doesn't usually buy these, since they break all the safety rules (they are unpredictable).

At 8:15 the fun began. Carlos, the expert, had arranged all the fireworks in order from exciting to most exciting. We spent hours lighting, watching, ooing and aahing. The best part was that there were people all around the little town doing the same thing. Fortunately, the other groups were a safe distance away. Timothy got startled early on and he ran off and didn't want to come near the fireworks again. Naomi and Elena gently coaxed him back by having him step on the "Pop its!" they dropped for him. Gradually they got him to join in the fun. He even held his own sparkler. Joel was gung-ho from the beginning. Laughing crazily with each pop and boom of the display. All the kids, including Reuben, got to light various crackers and bombs throughout the evening. My favorite were the "California Candles" which were glorified sparklers.

Victor's favorites were the Cats. We had several packages. We each got to light them in the way we saw fit. As a child, I had always wanted to light the whole string of them, making the loud, quick pops all together and seeing them go up in glory. I never did that, because the fun lasted longer when we took them apart and shot them individually. This time I got to light the whole string of them, and it was loud and over very quickly. Victor, however, chose to take them apart, popping them one at a time. He would light the fuse and throw them, savoring them, just like I did as a kid. He liked that best.

After the final whistling bottle rockets were shot, we went to bed for a short nights rest. In the morning, the little town was quiet again and littered with debris from the celebration. I walked to see a couple burned out spots where the grass had caught fire. Later, I saw Victor out walking, too, combing the ground for the Cats that had been dropped. Carlos lit a punk for him so he could have a few more moments of the thrill of freedom. Freedom to live a little dangerously.

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