Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Old Time's Sake...

I found myself in Aurora, Ohio yesterday morning. And since I had my calendar cleared I took some time driving around the community that I had not ventured into for several years. I made a point of driving out by the now closed Geauga Lake amusement park for old time's sake.

Driving out Rt. 43, and seeing the dilapidated fences, the now overgrown parking lot, the ticket gates in the distance succumbing to the harsh Ohio elements, along with the skeletal  remains of the "Big Dipper" peering over the fence into sight, truly caused my heart to break a little.

Nearly 15 years ago, the park was bought by Six Flags, and in a marketing push many local radio stations were giving away season passes. I was on my way to run lights for a school matinee at the local theatre I was working with at the time, when my awesome girlfriend (now known as my awesome wife), called me. (Yes, we had cell phones back then!)
"They're giving away Six Flags passes on the radio, I think you could win this contest!" she said.
I turned on the radio and listened for a number to call, I pulled over and decided to try my luck.

They were playing a version of Password. "I got this." I confidently said to myself.
I called in, and managed to actually get in on the contest.
The password was "forward".
The other contestant was a lady, and since it was ladies first she got first crack at trying to coerce the plucky co-host into saying the password.
"Onward" came the crackling voice on the other end. She must have had a cell phone too.
"Upward" the co-host guessed. (never minding that using the -ward portion of the password was against strict contest rules). It was my turn.
"Backward??" I tried my best to emphasize with my vocal inflection that the password was opposite of my clue.
"Forward!" the co-host shouted in excitement.
Cue the dinging bell sounder!
I had actually won a radio contest, and the prize was something I really wanted!

A few days later the pass vouchers came in the mail and we made our way out to the park that weekend. We both lived about 30 minutes away, and we used the passes a TON that year. We would meet up for an evening on the midway during the week after work, or plan a Saturday to go and spend the day riding rides. We would often stay out until closing when the ride lines would dwindle to nothing. It wasn't uncommon to find us getting off a roller coaster only to run back through the turn-styles for another go, and another, and another.

For the next several years we would make an investment in season passes to the park and relive many of the same moments. Our memories of the park are filled with nothing but fondness and warmth, we had a blast!

Across the lake lies even more fond memories lying in waste. The closed Sea World park, which Six Flags had also bought out and then apparently proceeded to run into the ground. The annual trip to Sea World was the highlight of my childhood summers, with long lasting memories for myself, my family, and grandparents, memories never to be shared with my own children.

The last several months, have been months of saying farewell to past chapters of life. Driving by the old park yesterday tugged at my heart, and sent me on a nice trip down memory lane. I poked around the internet and and learned that the land is up for sale in small parcels instead of as a whole, it seems a shame. But as with many things there is a beginning and an end. And the only way to find out what God has for us next, is to let go of what we was behind us and press on to what is before us.

Here's to seeing what lies before us.


Blessings,

Jeremiah


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I Lost Something...


Losing something is terrible, especially when you don't know what it is...

If you know me, you know that my family and I have gone through some big changes over these last several months. This past Saturday was another first in this time of change, transition and taking apart/putting our lives back together. It was the first time I set foot in our former church. Truth be told, I didn't want to. Not because I didn't want to attend the event (an Eagle Scout court of honor, for a former student of mine who achieved his Eagle rank in the BSA), but because as well as things are going with the ministry I'm involved in now, the wounds are not fresh, but still tender.

As a result, of the events, and interactions and even lack of interactions that morning, I lost something...
I'm not even sure what that "something" is, it might be, a bit of respect, perspective, trust, a friend... Maybe all of the above.

There's actually a lot to process, after that morning, and I have been fairly busy over the last few days, so up until this point I've shoved that morning aside for later processing. I'm hoping to sort it out soon, but I know that I came away with two thoughts.

1 - I'm disappointed about certain aspects of the morning. I'm disappointed in the tales that certain interactions with people tell about the pretense of our relationships. I don't know if I'm maddened, or saddened by them. Probably both. And I'm not sure how this all came to be, certainly not through ideal circumstances.

2 - I'm glad that I went - It was a BIG day for a student whom I have known for a very long time, and care for deeply. I would have walked into the valley of the shadow of death to be there for him.

As a side note I also got to see several other students who were in attendance, kids who I had not seen for over three months, I missed them, and it did me good to catch up with them.

And so like Jerry Seinfeld I feel like the day evened itself out, but like most people, I tend to focus on that which was lost and sometimes not so much on what was gained. And yet, life goes on...

Blessings,

Jeremiah


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Making things new...

This is weird.

I haven't even given much thought to this blog over the last 10 months or so. But I got this email  from Google saying that my domain registration would be renewed automatically if I didn't take any action to prevent it. Three minutes later, I received a second email stating that my domain registration had been renewed, thanks for the warning.

Anyway, that was a few weeks ago, and I've found myself getting the itch to write in a more "free" form. My friend Scott and I have been churning out content with a surprisingly consistent pace over at www.TheologyofGames.com since July 1 or 2012, and I love it! We are writing about gaming, which is something that I'm passionate about. I've also got a few other writing type things going on in the background, and I find the more I write, the more I want to write. If nothing else it's therapeutic and helps me sort my thoughts out, and process my day to day life with more clarity.

So, instead of trying to jam this blog into a mold, a category, or a publishing schedule or whatever, I've decided that I will come here from time to time - could be 7 days a week, or once a month - and do some "me" writing. What will I write about? Who knows, mostly whatever is on my heart, or concerning me, or maybe about a movie I'm excited about. I'm not trying to gain readers, or build a platform, I'm just writing for me. You may see posts flash across my Twitter, or Facebook feeds, I'm guessing those accounts are still connected to the blog, so if you feel like it, drop on by and see what's going on.

Blessings,
Jeremiah

Friday, May 11, 2012

Part Time...

Just wanted to share a link to one of my newest endeavors. (Yes, just one of them) This is just a sneak preview, we should be off the ground in July.
Thanks for checking it out. Leave your feedback in the comments, here or there! Thanks!
Follow this link:
Part Time YM

Blessings,

Jeremiah

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Quick Update...

Hey everyone,

For those of you have been reading my blog over the past 12+ months I want to say thank you! The fact that anyone would have much intereest in my random brain spills here is humbling indeed.

I wanted to give you all a quick update on what I've been working, without giving away too much before the appropriate time.

I am currently working on 2 new blogs, that will each tackle a much more focussed audience, and you can expect to see them go live sometime mid-summer (right around the beginning of July). I will be sure to update you more as things progress, I'm extremely excited about these opportunities which will give me the ability to write about 2 things I have a passion for.

Please stay tuned as I will be releasing more info about them in the days and weeks to come!

Blessings,

Jeremiah

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tweeting the Holy Week...

     Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday the beginning of the Holy Week, aka the week leading up to the crucifixion of Christ and His defeat of the grave by raising again on the 3rd day.

     I've instituted a little thing called "Tweeting the Holy Week" to help students focus this week on the importance of this season and our celebration of Jesus' victory and sacrifice. Each day I'm tweeting out a handful of key scriptures in conjunction to the day of the week. I'm excited to see how, having this daily reminder of what is about to take place resonates with the students.

     Now, since this is a blog for the Bi-Vocational youth worker, it goes without saying, that sometimes these ideas sound great but finding the time to execute a program like this can have it's challenges. I completely agree. Let me share with you how I've pulled it off.

     The main component to this is timing, wouldn't it be cool to tweet about Jesus being crucified on the hour that it actually took place? And then tweet that He gave up the ghost 3 hours later? Yes, of course it would. But who is going to remember to do that? Certainly not me! I have a million things to do on Good Friday! So head over to www.hootsuite.com sign up, link your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts to it and now you can SCHEDULE your tweets and status updates! Yes, I know, it's awesome. (This is WAY useful beyond this week as well!)

     The other key component of this is the fact that tweets are 140 characters, and there's a LOT to say! I've done the leg work for you, I've taken, what I believe to be some of the key moments of the week, and broken the scriptures down into 140 character chunks. Just click THIS LINK and to download my "Tweeting the Holy Week" word doc, and you can simply copy and paste each section of scripture into Hootsuite, and that's it! Yes, you'll have to schedule more than 1 tweet a day, but  you won't have to worry about abbreviation, or editing etc. I've done it all for you in NIV format.

     If you want to simply follow along, you can follow my youth ministry twitter account at @Project_29, or "Like" us at www.Facebook.com/project29, we've already begun tweeting the week and would love to have you come along with us!

Have a blessed and exciting Holy Week!

Blessings,

Jeremiah

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Writing...

I know, it seems like I got back from SYMC and have all but abandoned my writing.
Actually I haven't. I've just not been writing here. I've been busy working a few things that aren't ready for public discussion yet. (Don't you hate it when people say that kind of thing?!)

I also had the great opportunity to write for SYM Today.
Which is a great daily source full of great info and articles on youth ministry.

You can check it out as well as my article HERE.

Stay tuned for more posts, and more info on some things I've been working on soon!

Blessings,

Jeremiah