what a ride it’s been lately… here’s some random things popping around my head lately:

1. i could stare at her all day. and i kinda have been, actually. it’s been so nice today having our first full day with Adelina at home. it’s crazy to think that she’s here after all this time, and we’re so thankful to God for bringing her safely into our world. because it took so long to get pregnant, i think we both just assumed there’d be major issues with the pregnancy, labor, and delivery… and so when there wasn’t, we’ve been reeling with excitement and joy.

2. i feel so overwhelmed and grateful. the outpouring of love and support this week has been so encouraging. house cleaning flash mobs, lots of food deliveries, family making delicious meals to just throw in the oven, flowers, visits, prayers, and random gifts that have blown us away. it was moving to see a couple friends from the church stop by the hospital, hold our little girl, and tear up as they prayed for her and for us. true community in action, and we feel super loved on!

3. another special surprise at the hospital. moments before leaving the hospital, we bumped into a familiar face in the hallway – our social worker from the adoption! she “happened” to be there at that time visiting someone just down the hall, and it was so great to catch up and introduce her to Adelina. adoption still beats heavy in our hearts, and we can’t wait to be able to get back into that world soon!

4. ‘You Own The Sunday’ series. tomorrow we kick off a brand new series with the students where each week students from a specific school unite together to “own” all elements of the service… from the greeting to the tech and worship to the preaching. the goal is not just to put on a quality service, but to do so specifically for the rest of the people at their school that don’t attend church. i’ll blog about it more, but the coolest thing to see has been our connected teens’ enthusiasm in inviting their friends to church, a step that for many has been a big one. here’s one facebook post i just saw that put a smile to my face!

5. Shari’s Berries and Edible Arrangements. we received a delivery from each since we’ve been home… and they are SOOOOOO good! the chocolate covered strawberries are incredible, and the flower-bouquet-looking fruit pile is super creative.


Adjectives For Adelina

she’s here…Adelina Grace Hunneyman!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 1:39pm

6lbs. 8 oz. 

21.5 inches

beautiful, complex, fascinating, intricate, adorable, funny, cute, exhausting, energetic, wild, scared, tired, fun, alluring, charming, loud, classy, peaceful, sleepy, delicate, fragile, dependent, adventurous, silly, wonderful, exciting, amazing, exquisite, courageous, and drop dead gorgeous.

to all the other newborn boys out there, this is under my bed:

2 Very Powerful Words

as i walked into the office this morning and sifted through the big, ugly pile of emails waiting for me, i was reminded of the power of two words that the volunteers serving under me probably don’t hear enough: “thank you“.  being easter weekend, there was a boatload of events held in the church building, and one of the email threads was in relation to some pizza (go figure) and soda left uncleaned up after an event. apparently someone on a different team in the church had to take on the role of janitor and serve outside their calling. the culprit is still unknown and the hunt is still on… 🙂

what i’m NOT saying here is that we shouldn’t clean up after ourselves. or that we shouldn’t be willing to clean up after others. or that we shouldn’t send out an email to follow up on the oversight.

but i think we all know the reality that more often than not, our volunteers are way more likely to get a “why didn’t you clean up after yourself?” email as opposed to a “thank you for all you did this weekend” email.

an appreciated and encouraged volunteer is more likely to stick around long-term.

here’s the email i sent in to the volunteers under me:

Thank you guys for all that you do month after month for our ________.  I don’t think we say thanks enough, but I’m so pleased and thankful for you guys and the “landing spot” you’re creating for our ___________.  I know many times all you may hear is “who left the pizza on the floor” lol, but please know we’re grateful and appreciative of all you’re doing.  It was great to see _________ there for the [event] the other night.

who in your world needs a little extra encouragement today?

Sunday Videos – 4-24-11

Here’s the videos we used in today’s student service:

1. Amena Brown: Resurrection from BlueFishTV

This powerful video illustration presents a creative and artistic worship experience from spoken word poet, Amena Brown. This reverent video illustration recounts God’s plan of salvation for us all.  The Easter message is one that needs to be heard in every season and in every culture.  Amena Browns poetry and mixture of scripture, combined with the cutting edge video illustration technology will bring you to a point of worship with Almighty God.

2. Come Awake! by IgniterMedia via WorshipHouseMedia

We all carry various burdens and struggles that sometimes prevent us from living the life God intended. Christ’s sacrifice, though, reminds us that he defeated every last thing that might encumber His people. Thus, the charge to us all is to come awake and be one with Christ again. Music by Matt Maher.

3. FCWC 2011 Highlight Video – this is a quick video i put together from the pictures that popped up on facebook the next day. it shows my extreme need for help in the video arena (or even better my need for someone to just take it over for good lol). our students love Christ Tomlin’s song “Chosen Generation” now after last week!

Sunday Videos 4-17-11

so i’m thinking every week i’d like to post all of the videos that we ended up using in our weekly student service that week, purely to catch someone’s eye in case it works for an upcoming service in their setting. i’m kinda leary of saying “every week” because i know i struggle with commitment issues 🙂 especially with this baby about to pop out. but i’d like to!

here’s a video we showed last sunday that made a few teens laugh (the rest were too cool to laugh out loud). it was originally shown at the simply youth ministry conference and i grabbed it via josh griffin‘s blog. we set it up by telling the teens we had some tips for them on how to “stay classy” with prom right around the corner. the nice thing with this video is that the actual file can be downloaded directly from vimeo!

More Space For Our Students

it made my heart really happy to see so many students at church today for easter, and definitely that we had enough space for them all. this whole past year we had them crammed in the youth rooms (not designed for services) until the sound treatment of our gymnasium/multi-purpose room could get to an adequate level. the big crowd easter brings was the catalyst to really get the job done, and i’m so thankful for the resources, finances, and people that made it all happen.  there’s definitely still some more treatment to go, but phase 1 allows us to hear the spoken word without straining!

here’s a couple shots of the service this morning. i ripped them off facebook, so the quality isn’t great. plus it looks really dark due to the ambience/mood we’re trying to create so that the now “huge” space feels not quite so big.

it was super fun having my youth leader, mentor, and great friend todd bush preach again, and it was also fun to see both music teams join together for one big “all-student” band leading worship.

easter… the day that changed everything for me!

FCWC – Tuesday Video

here’s a highlight video from yesterday at flower city work camp, specifically at some of the worksites and sidewalk clubs. it’s so exciting to see what God is doing through these students and the positive “buzz” in the community!

FCWC – Monday Video

here’s a video from yesterday at Flower City Work Camp… a few of our students are in this footage. it’s so exciting to see them be the hands and feet of Jesus!

Preaching Hurts

so i’m sitting here in star bucks trying to hash out some final prep for tonights talk at flower city work camp. it’s been such a privilege to be able to play a small part in this amazing week. the whole event is such a “machine”… so many hands and so many people from churches all over Rochester uniting to use their gifts for God’s glory… truly an amazing sight and a highlight of my year!

but i’m feeling a burden right now. tonight’s message is probably the toughest one to give simply because of the weight of the content. my heart in typing this is not to illicit anything, but to simply state that sometimes, preaching hurts.

the way God works in the hearts of preachers is many times a difficult and emotional journey, and right now i’m feeling that. it reminds me of a quick hallway conversation i had a few weeks ago with another preacher friend. he was talking about how much of a “burden” he feels every sunday, and how that’s actually a very good thing. the day i no longer feel this heaviness is probably the day i need to get out of this thing.

FCWC – Sunday Night Video

flower city work camp is well underway… and it’s so exciting what God is doing right now in the hearts of students!

here’s a highlight video from night #1 (at the west camp where our church is stationed):