Weekend Update

Friday Night Erin and I went out with a group of friends to see The Widows play at El Cid. It was a lot of fun, and they put on a great show. I’ve been hooked since they came and played at my church’s Grace Café event. Unfortunately, on our way to meet our friends that night the check engine light came on in my car, so it’s out of commission for a little while.

Saturday I helped some friends move furniture, diagnosed the issue with my car, and headed over to the church to prepare for our Fall Family Festival. This year, for the first time, we added a haunted house to the festivities. I wouldn’t really have called it that scary, but we did make a little girl cry, and a bunch of people scream. I spent my Halloween evening scaring kids, what did you do?

Sunday morning Erin and I rose early to take her parents to the airport for their cruise. They’ll be gone for most of the month. After that, I prepared to teach the Jr. High class at church. It’s the first time I’ve taught since I stepped down from the Youth Minister position almost a year ago. Don’t tell anyone, but I had a good time with the kids and look forward to the rest of the month.

Sunday afternoon I spent some time with my small group, and then the rest of the evening at home with the wife. It was a pretty quiet evening.

And that was pretty much my weekend, except for one small thing. Erin and I got two new (one new, and one new to us) computers. We are now the proud owners of a MacBook and an eMac. It’s exciting to have new technology in the house to play around with.


One Chapter Comes to a Close

The Elders sent this letter out to the church last week. As the letter states there have been many hours of prayer and discussion regarding this decision. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’ve struggled with this for quite a while. It saddens me greatly to close this chapter of my life, but I think this is the best decision for all the parties involved. I plan to remain active in the church, and will never be able to fully step away from serving in a ministerial role of some sort.

Dear Church Family,

After much prayer and consultation with the relevant parties we, the shepherds of the Glendale Church of Christ, have decided that Brian Himes’ decision to step down as Youth Minister effective immediately is the wisest one.

Brian has served the Lord and His children in a remarkable way for the past 3 years. Despite difficult circumstances he has been faithful in caring for the Junior High and High School teens in the teaching of the weekly Bible Class and organizing the Youth and Family Small Group as well as numerous personal individual ministry initiatives. We thank Brian for his dedicated and committed service and want him and our church family to know that we are proud of the way he has conducted himself.

We also want to say that we appreciate all the hard work Erin has done in this ministry as she has served by his side. We appreciate her caring spirit, compassionate heart and her enthusiasm for the Lord and His children very much.

We all wish there was a different outcome but Youth Ministry in small churches is cyclical. At this time we have very few High School aged teens. In years to come that will probably change, but as for now we all agree that there is not a lot we can do about the present situation and want to be good stewards of the current financial resources of our church.

We, as the shepherds of the Glendale Church, hope that as one door closes in Brian’s life that the Lord will open another door for him. We are convinced that the Lord has plans for people with deep compassion and talents, like Brian. We love Brian and Erin very much and pray for God’s richest blessings to be poured out on both of them as we all together work in His kingdom.

Yours in service of Jesus,

The Elders of the Glendale Church of Christ

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to come talk to me.

I have truly enjoyed serving as the youth minister to the Glendale Church of Christ. Grace and peace be with you all.

Rainy Day Weekend Update

We’re only a few days into Fall and we’re already having our first rainy day.  Hopefully this is a sign of things to come this year.  We could sure use the rain.  In honor of this first rainy day of the season I thought I’d include a nice rainy day photo (click on the image to enlarge it).  Hope you enjoy it!
Friday Night
Friday night we had a going away grilling party for some friends.  We had some amazing food.  The highlights for me were the carne asada Erin and I bought from a local market, and the mexican corn a friend made.
Saturday morning Erin and I relaxed around the house.  I know I say this a lot, but it’s nice when we have the time to relax.  
Saturday evening we had Grace Cafe at church.  It was amazing.  For the first time we had two full, real, rock bands perform.  They brought in a ton of equipment and a lot of people.  I would say it was probably the best attended Grace Cafe yet.  I really enjoyed myself.  I wish we had the energy and resources to have these events more often. 
Sunday morning we had a small Teen Bible Class, so we talked and shared with each other things that were on our minds.   I always have a good time when we just sit and visit.  I hope it was good for everyone else too.
Church was really full on Sunday.  We seem to be getting a lot of visitors these days, which is great.  I think things are finally starting to gel with the new leadership and members.  It’s exciting to see the change.
Immediately following church we had our last Youth and Family Small Group meeting.  After many hours of prayer and consideration we’ve decided to call it quits for that small group.  I think it’ll be best for everyone. Hopefully this time apart will encourage the members of the group to become involved in other groups and other ways. 
After group let out, Erin and I spent the rest of the afternoon, in one way or another, working on a fundraiser for AWP (Associated Women for Pepperdine).  Every year, the Glendale Chapter of AWP sells goodie bags for the freshman class. It’s a good way to raise money for scholarships, which is the main focus of AWP. 

UnChristian After A Long Hiatus

After a several month hiatus, I picked up UnChristian from my nightstand and started reading it again. 
A couple things jumped out at me today during my lunch-time reading. The first quote that caught my attention was the following:
In studying thousands of outsiders' impressions, it is clear that Christians are primarily perceived for what they stand against. We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than who we are for. (Kinnaman and Lyons 26)
The second quote that jumped off the page at me was:
They (young Christians) are also sensitive to the way in which Christians engage a broken world and are often frustrated by the poor image that Christianity has.  We heard many young believers say that in some circumstances they are reluctant to admit they are Christians.  They don't fear being unpopular, but they feel that raising the Christian flag would actually undermine their ability to connect with people and to maintain credibility with them.  This is a major indictment of unChristian faith, that to bring those around them closer to Christ, they must distance themselves from the current "branding" of Christianity.  They have to put aside unChristian ways of doing things to connect people with the depth and power of the Christian message. (Kinnaman and Lyons 35)
I'll refrain from providing much commentary on these two passages for now, but I felt compelled to share them with you for your consideration.  My question for you, the reader, is do these passages strike as big a chord with you as they do with me?