The End of an Era (or So Long and Thanks for all the Fish)

The past three and a half years have been among the most challenging & rewarding times for me. There were days where as a staff, we would sit around and wonder “why are we doing this?”. I would sit there and think “I can’t go on, I can’t do this anymore.” It was in those moments, that my favorite quote from Lord of the Rings comes to mind (here’s the YouTube version, if you prefer it)

Sam: It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the ending, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr Frodo, I do understand… I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only the didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding onto something…

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo… And it’s worth fighting for.

But now that struggle has come to the end, and I find myself again wondering if it was worth it. If the time we spent mattered, or if it was all for naught. And again I find myself finding comfort and solace in the words of Samwise Gamgee. Continue reading

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Loyalty & Bravery

‎”You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin–to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours–closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway: there it is. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. We know a good deal about the ring. We are terribly afraid–but we are coming with you; or following you like hounds.” ~ Meriadoc Brandybuck

I know I’ve talked about this before, but I forgot about this quote from the book series, The Lord of the Rings. I read it the other day, and it reminded me that loyalty and bravery go hand in hand. Continue reading

Dangerous Business

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Well, by the time most of you read this, I’ll be on the road. I’m taking a much-needed vacation, and my best friend and I are going to visit Ryan & Janae Dagen!!! I am really excited to see them.

For those of you who don’t know, quick back story on the relationship between Ryan and I. Ryan used to be the youth pastor at Gap Community Church. During that time, I pretty much functioned as his assistant youth pastor, in addition to the other duty’s of my job, since I was employed by GCC at the time. Continue reading

Writing A Better Story

I have had a few people who couldn’t be there when I spoke at Amplify Youth Ministry a few weeks ago ask me for my notes, so today, I figured I would share them with you all who wanted them. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Continue reading