I do have one clarification to make concerning last week’s newsletter. One of my readers pointed out that the accepted (and possibly more effective) method of sweetening hot tea is to utilize honey rather than sugar. I have to point at that I am aware of this fact and I had tried using honey initially, the problem I encountered was that by the time I had put enough honey into the cup to sweeten the tea the consistency of said tea had become so syrupy that it would no longer pour out from the cup.
Several weeks ago when I had the opportunity to teach the youth at our church I brought in all of my Nerf equipment and we ended up doing Nerf Wars during the game time after the lesson. The group is split pretty evenly between boys and girls and I was a little curious how well the whole concept of a team battle shooting Nerf darts at each other would go over with the group as a whole. It wound up being a huge success. I was told that the following week when I missed service due to illness that the kids were really bummed that we weren’t doing Nerf Wars again.
I have to admit, last week our pastor really stepped up his game. When I walked in to the church about half an hour before the youth service normally starts I found him in the process of stacking up chairs all around the sanctuary creating bunkers to go with the dim lighting and flashing strobes he had already setup. As the students started coming in the excitement was palpable. After the lesson we divided up into equal teams and headed to our respective sides of the sanctuary. Within minutes I was already bleeding from my knuckles due to carpet burn. By the time the evening was over my hands and arms were covered with all sorts and sizes of carpet burns. Needless to say, game time that night was awesome!
If your level of commitment to youth ministry is measured by the number of carpet burns you come away with at the end of the evening, no one is more hardcore than I am. This fact that was commented on by the wives of those involved. The pastor’s wife told Leslie that her husband must have not been serious about this because he didn’t come home with any carpet burns.
The weather in upstate New York has finally taken a turn for the better. Yesterday it got up over 70F, practically summer time weather. It has been warm enough that I have taken Jack out for a walk after work each day. Tuesday, Leslie needed to go to the grocery store so I strapped Ayla to my stomach and took her out with me as well. Not too long into our walk the wind kicked up and brought the temperature down quite a bit. Jack was fine, but I didn’t want Ayla getting cold so I zipped my jacket up around her. What I wound up with was me walking down the street looking like the Virgin Mary as she arrived in Bethlehem, great with child. I had to tell two different sets of neighbors that, “No I haven’t put on a lot of weight recently; I’m carrying my daughter underneath my jacket.” I also had to tell one little kid that, “No I didn’t kill Santa Claus and no, I won’t be taking his place this year in the sleigh.” I think we all know who to thank for putting that ridiculous notion in his head.
We attended a Good Friday service yesterday evening at our church; there was no childcare, but the service was only half an hour long so we figured that Jack should be able to make it through with minimal issues. The service consisted of us singing several older hymns followed by a reading of John’s account of the crucifixion, and then closed out by a few more hymns and a prayer. Jack actually did very well, keeping quiet most of the service and joining us in singing during one of the hymns. Of course, this was all perfected with the gigantic belch he let out just as the pastor finished up his prayer. I felt this was an appropriate capstone for Jack’s first service (that he didn’t sleep through).