Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 years

well, I did it.
I made it 10 years as the middle school pastor at my church.
I've been looking forward to this milestone for a long time. when I first got to the church in 2001, I had heard a stat that most youth pastors only last about 18 months- so for me, a decade is pretty cool.

the day came and went without any big deal, which was fine for me. we had saturday night service that night, and most of the students were focused on the fact that it was my birthday (and that I had brought a pinata full of candy).

I don't think I would ever draw attention to this milestone in public; but for you, my gracious blog readers, I'll share what I might say if I was asked to talk about this in some sort of public setting-
it would go something like this:

"first I want to thank this church for believing in me and for trusting me with their students. thank you for hiring me, for investing in me, and for having hope that I could make a difference. thank you for giving me my dream job- I absolutely love working here.

thank you to every parent who trusted their student with me and my team over the last 10 years. thank you for your wisdom, your support and your grace. being a voice in the life of your student has been an incredible honor and a privilege for me.

thank you to every volunteer that has ever served with me on the middle school team. thank you for using what God gave you to invest in the life of a young person. thank you for the countless hours that you have given to these students. thank you for your wisdom, your attitude, your joy and your patience. thank you for all that you have taught me.
thank you especially to niki sterling, who has faithfully served with me on this team, all 10 years that I have been here. she is a gift from God to this ministry.

thank you to judie christensen, my admin and partner in ministry for the entire 10 years that I've been here. your steadiness, organization, and care and concern for families has shaped the culture of the middle school ministry and the entire student ministry department. thank you for your friendship, your wisdom, your endurance and your enthusiasm. I'm so proud to be on a team with you.

thank you to my amazing wife deanna, for your love, support and wisdom all of these years. I love you and am so grateful for our life together.

most importantly, I thank God for the amazing privilege it is to serve Him vocationally and to represent Him to others. I thank Him for His grace in allowing a quiet farm kid from Modesto to be a leader in anything, let alone His Church.

finally, thank you to every student who has walked through the doors of the middle school ministry. you have brought so much joy into my life. working with you has been a dream and an adventure. I want to remind you that I love you, and that I'm so proud of you, and that I'm so excited about who you are and who you're becoming!"

its been a great run; and I feel like i'm just getting started. my passion for doing this work is greater than its ever been.

God is love.

last night-

last night I got home after 11pm after a very late night at youth group. I walked in the house and deanna says, "did you get my text about the shower?"
"uh- no- what's wrong with the shower?"
"it won't drain. it's plugged up."

so I went into the bathroom and there was standing water in my bathtub. gross.
so I got the little plastic-zipper-unplugger and tried to fish out the plug, but I couldn't even get it to go do wn the drain. this was a serious plug.
so I got my shoes back on, went to the 24-safeway and got some draino.
on the way back I remembered that I have a super-plunger and that would surely do the trick.

when I got home, I got the super-plunger and started pushiing water in and out of the drain. it wouldn't budge. it seemed like something solid had getten into my drain!

I dropped the draino in and nothing happened.
it was really late and I didn't want to use a snake on it (we live upstairs in a condo, and I didn't want to make noise for my downstairs neighbor), but I thought I would take apart some of the hardware on the tub to see if I could at least get the plastic zipper down the side pipe.

as soon as I got the plate off of the stopper on the tub off I heard a CLUNK, and all of the water started gushing out. I groaned.

my wife rushed in- "what happened?!" she said-

"you had the tub stopper on."

she laughed so hard she started tearing up.

I told her I would get back at her for going viral with the story.
I can't be too upset- I didn't figure it out either. at least we didn't call the plumber!

God is love.

Monday, July 4, 2011

update on your pal, rob; july 2011

its so cliche- but "wow! its been so long sonce I've written on my blog!" I've been getting some kind comments on some of my "lectio divina" wrirtings, and I need to get some of those on here again soon.

a couple of big things have come up since I last posted:

:: I went and saw my favorite band U2 in oakland with my friend mark! we had an amazing spot on the floor in front of the stage. the band had these bridges that floated over the audience, and at one point bono, the band's lead singer was right over my head, within reach!

I'm under bono! on Twitpic

:: my daughter has become quite the ballerina:

tiny dancer on Twitpic

:: and quite the illustrator!

daddy-daughter-day: I'm reading a book and jane is writi... on Twitpic

:: and she went to her first ever VBS at church. she loved it- and I loved seeing her get excited to go to church.

my 2 pirate-girls @dananabanana and captain-jane on Twitpic

:: at work, we just finished up our first camp of the summer- the next one is in 2 weeks.

:: and for the first time in 15 years of working for churches, I don't have an office! I moved out of my old one, and my new set up won't have offices! when its completed it will be a starbucks-stye youth facility where you can work wherever you want, but no one owns anything. sounds crazy, but it will be amazing. until then, I'm fully mobile.

10 years in the same office! This is my last day in here- on Twitpic

:: I started counting calories about 7 weeks ago, and so far I have dropped 27 pounds! I'm so excited about this- none of my pants fit anymore and my belt is on the tightest loop. I'm really hoping that this is more than just a fad for me and more of a whole new lifestyle.

:: probably the biggest thing I'm excited about is that July 1 marked the 10 year anniversary of our move to San Jose. I love this city. July 9 was my first day of work and will mark the 10 year anniversary of my work with middle schoolers at the church. this is a milestone that I have been looking forward to for a long, long time!

there is so much in my life that I am grateful for right now.
God is love.