Friday, March 27, 2009

Dear ________ Hotel,

Dear ____________ Hotel,

I wanted to write you and thank you for giving me a place to stay. Even when it is last minute. I also wanted to say that I noticed that card you left on my bed and in the bathroom. You know the one that says you are an earth friendly hotel and you want to do your part in conserving water? I get it. that's cool. It is very trendy to be "green." Good for you for jumping on that.

I was wondering if maybe you could help me help you be part of the solution. You know how sometimes you put in small print, "If you do not want to be charged $.75 per day for the newspaper (which, by the way, only costs $.50) just initial here? Well, what if you did the same thing with sheets and towels?!!? What if you gave me the option to save some money by checking a box saying that I don't want you to do my sheets and towels and save me $2.50 or $10.00 or something like that? Great idea, isn't it? That way, you could actually prove you are about the earth and I could have the opportunity to show I cared too. As it stands now, I look like a jerk who doesn't care if I just leave my towels on the floor and the card on the night stand. I don't really have a choice, do I?

So what do you say hotel? Are you in? Or will you keep putting on this facade like you really give a rip and keep sucking every penny out of me you can?

--Your Loyal "Guest"
Erik w/a "k"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Needed This Today

Ever wonder what people are thinking when they "write" a song?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More Free Stuff!!!

You know I love passing on free stuff ("especially in this economy"). So Dr. Pepper has done it again. Last fall they gave away free Dr. Pepper to everyone in celebration of GNR actually putting out an album. Now they want you to try Diet Dr. Pepper. All you have to do is tell them where to send the coupon.

Click here for your freebie.

And yes, I got my free coupon for my Dr. Pepper. Yum, thank you.

Monday, March 02, 2009 biggest struggle?

We are sharing this convention center with a cheerleader competition. There are hundreds and hundreds of cheerleaders here of all ages. The are painted with heavy eye makeup and in classic skin revealing cheerleader uniforms as they are walking with their moms.

You may be thinking, “This is your biggest struggle? You sick-o.” Let me correct your thinking. I have heard soooo many of the youth leaders here judge these girls and their moms. I have some of this struggle too. I think, “Would I let my daughter dress like this? Are there girls here who feel bad about how they look because of all the other girls who are so pretty or skinny?” I overheard a lot of girls and moms say things about other teams and other  girls and the judges. They were not pleased with the results, etc. 

So I struggle with my own personal thoughts and the verbalized thoughts of all these other youth workers here. It is really frustrating to hear us be so flippin’ judgmental. I don’t know what to do with it. I just know that it’s making me mad.

Why are we so good to teach against judging others and yet so good at judging others?

Sorry...this was a little raw one for me.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

DAY 2 (Saturday) NYMC

Got up early to workout in keeping with my new commitment. 7AM is 4AM my time. Ouch!

Great morning session. Rick Lawrence talked about how we need to "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Really focused on taste. We all got a ziplock bag with little packets of salt, pepper, malt vinegar, honey and dijon mayonnaise and were told to choose 3 to taste, then take one and ask God to give us some insight as to what that taste tells us about God.
Then we wrote down a declaration to God as to what we heard.

Station 2 lead us in worship. I like their style and ability to infuse God’s Word in the midst of their music.

Duffy Robbins then came and continued to talk about Tasting and Seeing that God is good.

I then headed off to Walt Mueller’s Trend’s in Youth Ministry Culture.
Basically he walked us through the idea that we need to look into the “soup” and stir it. The soup is our students culture. Paul looked at the soup of his time and used it as he talked to the people.

I loved the quote he used from Francis Schaeffer. If Francis had 60 minutes with a person he would spend 55 minutes asking good questions and listening and then 5 minutes leaving that person with something valuable. Good to think about. Too often we talk and we don’t listen. I need to listen more. This fits very well with the things I am learning in my coaching class and books I am reading on coaching.

I walked to Chipotle for lunch and they were closed!!! Ugh. So I went to an afternoon seminar. I caught Tim Schmoyer’s “Media workshop: Effectively communicating with Teens and Parents throughout the Week.” He gave his 10 ways he communicates using technology. The top 3 were his youth ministry website, video announcements and texting. Most of this stuff I know, but it was encouraging to hear and grab some good insights. You can check out what Tim does on Side note he also has a cool website called and is a great place to ask and answer questions about ministry.

I popped back into my weekend long seminar with Walt Mueller and then headed to dinner with Jason Ostrander, Dave Irwin and Kris Jones. We talked about a future ministry for middle schoolers. That’s all I can tell you for now, but it’s exciting!

Back to the evening general session. Kay Warren was the speaker. She gave some great challenges to us as youth ministers. Unfortunately I missed most of it. Dinner didn't quite work the way I had planned.

We then headed over to the 100th episode of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast. It was the 2nd live one they had done with an audience. The first was at last year’s Group conference. The first 100 people got a free t-shirt and they had pizza. These guys are fun and funny. It was great to be part of it.
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