Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So it's been a while...

I apologize for my lack of blog postings the last few weeks.

We just had an incredible service tonight @ the First Church.  It was a Solemn Assembly.  Pastor Shoemake so eloquently delivered the word of God and discussed some things that were in the church.  The conclusion of the service was amazing.  We have been having awesome moves of God the last few services.  The Church is beginning to fill up.  It's great being apart of what God is doing here in San Jose.

A few weeks ago, I think I received one of the most touching displays of appreciation from a young person in our youth ministry.  There is a young person that will remain nameless for Blog Purposes...that has been apart of our Ministry for a couple of years.  This person is the type of person that remains on the perimeters of things.  Very soft spoken. Isn't the Life of the Group.  In fact a young person that is pretty much labeled "one of the quiet ones".  Anyways, we had just concluded a youth event, and everyone was hanging out after talking and goofing off.  I walked by a group of young people where this one particular young person was at.  I said "whats up" to all of them as I usually would.  I had already passed the group and was going into a different room, and this young person ran up after me and said..."Bro West..Bro West".  I turned around and I looked at them, and they looked at me at simply said..."Thanks".  I looked at them, and I just looked puzzled, and they looked again at me and said it again "Thanks Bro West...Thanks".  They turned around and ran back to their group where they were talking.

I didnt know how to quite take it.  I didnt understand.  But then, as I walked away, this young person in their way was saying "Thank you for all that we do for the Youth Ministry".  It was one of the most impacting moments as a youth pastor.  Mind you, I have been in youth ministry for a decade now, and the "Thank You's" are few and far between.  But this young person, someone that I would of never thought, was expressing themself.

There are times that the work of a youth pastor goes unappreciated.  The Life of the Youth Pastor - Overworked, Underpaid, UnderValued, Overlooked, and Used.  But this young person's words of sincerity send me a message that I will never forget.  "Thanks" - I was reminded that all the non glamorous duties, late night cleaning of Youth Centers, hours of preparation for youth events, and all the other stuff that Youth Pastors do - it is all for something.  

This young person made me feel valued.  Thank you to that young person.  It is my goal this year to value and appreciate those that have impacted my life.  



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two Things

This past weekend was busy, busy, busy. But what fun! I have to admit that when Monday morning came, I was more tired than I was on Friday, after a week of work!

I wanted to share two things that happened this past Sunday:

I taught the lesson in my class on Sunday morning. After my lesson we were doing what girls do best...socializing. I had my Mac so we started playing around taking various pictures of ourselves using the photo booth. Some of the "neighborhood kids" or "community kids" (whatever you want to call them) were taking pictures as well. When the horn blew that the bus was leaving one of the bus girls came up to me, smiled, gave me a hug, and said "bye, I will see you next week".

You would have to know her to know what this really means. She has not been coming faithfully, has done her best to instigate fights when she does come, and NEVER seems to listen to anything that is being said. For her to initiate a hug with me....

This was a big step....a HUGE step.

There was a girl that had been in our youth group years ago. I will not even go into the details of her story (1. I don't know if she would appreciate it and 2. I don't want to take the time), but to summarize: Her family left our church, backslid, she got pregnant, then got married, then came back to our church, then separated from her husband.

Since she has come back, her and I have spent a lot of time together. God blew our minds this past Sunday, when her husband was baptized.

Isn't it just like God to fix the mess that we make of our lives..........he never fails to amaze me.

"I am staying out of the forest, and am glad I am not perfect".~LW

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Misc.....and a Happy Birthday

I am a horrible blogger. I have not posted since December 27th (to be exact). You may be asking yourself Why I have not entertained you with the details of our life?!?!?!


I wish I had a better reason, or a fabulous story to blame it on (I took a trip to Paris, I won a million dollars , I was climbing Half Dome...etc), but I don't. I simply have: just. not. wanted. to.

Anyways...moving on

We started the New Year in So-Cal. This year I am pretty torn about making resolutions. I thought if a posted a few here I would be a little more accountable in keeping them.

So here goes nothing......
  1. Lose Weight
  2. Learn Spanish (at least start trying to)
  3. Read the entire Bible
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Pray longer every day
  6. Be more organized
  7. Go somewhere I have never been before
  8. Stop being a procrastinator
  9. Spend more time with the ones I love ~ JW, family, friends
  10. Start sewing again
JW's birthday was on Monday......HAPPY 31st BIRTHDAY TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!!

JW's Mother and Brother came over for dinner and cake. The West family tradition is usually to go out to eat for birthday's, but JW decided that he wanted to be home this year. It was nice to have them over, as we rarely entertain.

I made the carrot cake above for his b-day. It is his favorite kind. I will have you know that I made the entire cake from scratch, icing and all. To some of you this is no small feat, but for me this is a huge deal, as I am not much of a baker. (one small problem I have with homemade icing is getting it to stick to the cake, it kept running off...can anyone help me with that? I let the cake cool for at least an hour too!).

This weekend we are hosting Revivalution Youth Conference at our church. Starting tonight we will begin the busy preparations of making sure everything comes together. It is going to be an exciting weekend! If you are in the area make sure and stop by - LW

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting Ready for Sunday....

There is alot of planning / strategizing that goes into Sunday Morning Blue Bomber Crew 2 Session Sundays!  It took alot just to say that whole sentence!  
My weekly ritual is to email out to all the bus workers a Play By Play Game plan as to how are going to execute our teams.  The Blue Bomber Crew has now hit over 50 volunteers.  
Everyone person has a role on Sunday Mornings - even throughout the week.  From weekly evangelism to picking up the donated pastries on Friday / Saturday nights.  It's pretty awesome how everyone works together for a common goal.

Tonight we have a 2009 Sectional Kick Off Rally at East Valley Pentecostal Church.  Bro Tim Torres is our guest.  I have always appreciated Bro Tim, because of his consistency and passion for the Kingdom of God.  And it also helps that he is a great preacher.

Usually we have great attendance at our rallies.  However I have had a few call ins from a couple youth ministries to inform me that due to Church Prayer Services, they would be unable to attend.  I have found that Januarys often times are difficult times to schedule sectional / district events due to the conflicting of local church events.

I am sure we will have a move of God tonight.  I will keep you all in the loop as to how it goes tonight.  - JW

Thursday, January 1, 2009

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