I have a little extra margin today, I thought I would share a list that has been in my head lately-
sometimes my friends message me and tell me that they saw something and it reminded them of me- its probably because I'm a creature of habit and do the same things 100 times over. either way, it blesses me to know that someone thought of me-
1. sour punch straws
I always have these when I'm with students. I would switch to a different candy, but these are a winner every time. even when I buy them at the store, the teenage or college aged checker sort of looks at them lovingly as they run them across the scanner. I've had a number of people say, "whenever I eat these, I think of being a student in your ministry." I did my first talk to children recently and I just had a box of them in my hand. you could have heard a pin drop. I used to have a gun that would shoot them out into a crowd of students. ironically, I've never had one. I'm not into sour stuff.
2. malibu grill
3. mister rogers
I did not watch a lot of mister rogers as a kid- but I saw this clip, and it has travelled with me ever since.
I have used it for training leaders, for training students before service trip, and in sermons. it embodies everything I want to be as a youth worker. I keep a photo of this scene in my wallet and on my desk. now my friends often share mr. rogers videos and quotes with me all the time- and it doesn't bother me one bit.
4. monterey and otters
I have written a bunch about how much we love otters- I am an otter evangelist! I'm always sharing otter-stuff online. one of my favorite sermon serieses was called "keystone species" and it was all about the spiritual lessons that we can learn from otters. we got passes to the aquarium and go there at least once a month. we love to go on a rainy day- that's when the sea-life parties at the surface. I often have friends say, "I was in monterey and I expected to see you!" or they will send me otter videos- I don't mind- keep them coming!
I have loved these guys since I was a teenager. I have seen them in concert many times. when I start chatting about their songs or their concerts, I don't know when to stop. I post a lot of their songs on my facebook page- they're the best. whenever there is news about them I'm often asked, "did you hear the news?" "did you get the new album?" "do you have tickets to the show?" and the answer is always yes.
6. red vw beetles
I drove a red beetle for years. what a fun car! my friends often gave me miniature beetles, or said that they saw one and thought of me- dw drives it now- but I had lots of great memories in that car. I as often told that it smelled like crayons. I could never smell it, but I can now, now that I don't drive it as much. everyone thought there were crayons hiding under the seats, but that's just how vw upholstery smells.
7. los gatos/ los gatos creek trail/ the great bear/ CCC's
I don't know anyone who loves the town of los gatos more than me. I love the history, the shopping, the atmosphere, the architecture. I love oak meadow park and vasona- I love the los gatos creek trail- I have written about both of those spots several times on this blog. I love the train at oak meadow park- and my favorite spot in downtown los gatos is the great bear coffee shop. and my favorite drink is their coffee-chocolate-cream milkshake, or the CCC. just like I said about malibu, "if we haven't had a CCC at the great bear, then we probably aren't really friends." my favorite way to welcome a friend into town or to recruit a volunteer is to take them to the bear. I often have friends share with me photos of their CCC's or picture of them at the bear.
8. be awesome today
this is a phrase that I use to remind students to have good behavior- but it has turned into a kind of mantra. friends often share when they see something with the words "be awesome" on it. I often tell students- "you can be awesome anywhere- at your school, on your team at your house, and definitely at church; so be awesome today."
and I guess that's my message for myself and for you right now. wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whoever you're with:
be awesome today.
God is love.