Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday - a day of transition and arrival

San Antonio, TX - get ready to have the Holy Spirit do some powerful things! What kind of things? Hearts changed, souls saved, weak strengthened, love uplifted, joy spread, fun attained and just about anything else you can imagine. I found myself outside of the hotel this morning listened to the Spirit and feeling like dancing in the street. I didn't because of traffic but boy do I know what King David felt like. The Ark of the Covenant may not be coming into San Antonio today but thousands of young people and their adult leaders are arriving and the Holy Spirit has put joy in my heart. Dance! Sing! Shout! If not me, who will be like Jesus to the least of these? Use me! I am Your servant.

Many youth are traveling today. The youth and adults from St. Paul's will be leaving from church at 8:30 this morning (Sunday). I pray that they will be safe in travels. That their flight will be smooth. And their arrival on time. Reflect the love of Christ at the airport, to TSA, to the flight attendants, to all the others that you come in contact with today. You are the Light of Christ moving through this country. May the Light of Christ shine brightly in all that you are say and do!

Penny and I have been in training. All day yesterday - from 8:30 a.m. -6:30 p.m. - we were in the Convention Center, learning what our roles are and how to help out in whatever way we can. So many pieces to the puzzle are coming together. Thank the Lord for the Youth Board of the Missouri Synod. They are a powerful part of what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of the youth and in the lives of the folks in San Antonio. I know that there are those in our church body who look down on them but my friends, those folks are wrong. The ministry they are doing is amazing and the Spirit is doing great and powerful things through them. Thank You Lord! (OK, I almost got going on the political climate in our church but the Spirit stopped me. It would have been me, my feelings, not His that would have been spouted.)

So here we go. Half a day of training in specific duties today. And then back at the hotel from 1-6 to greet youth and adults at the Grand Hyatt. We have 2180 youth and adults staying in this hotel! 2180! That is a lot of people in one hotel. Only the Marriott River Center has more - over 2400. The team here - Penny and myself, Tom and Trudy Heren, Nancy Gowan and Shirley Smith - rocks! I have the best CLB team of any hotel! It is great.

More to come. I am pump! Holy Spirit, use me! Let's rock this town. My prayer at the start of every service is "Holy Spirit, rock this place!" I pray that now for San Antonio. Holy Spirit, Rock this Town! Rock these kids! Move mightily! Strengthen us! Fill us! Empower us! Amen.

Friday, June 28, 2013


This morning, I head out for San Antonio, TX. Vacation? Nope. This is the National Lutheran Youth Gathering that takes place every 3 years. From July 1-5, 25,000 Lutherans will converge on San Antonio, TX to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ and to learn how to live our that faith as one who is loved by God. We will Live/Love{d]. We live in faith as one who is loved by God. We love others as ones who live in Christ.

St. Paul's is sending a total of 15 people to the Gathering: 7 youth participants, 2 adult leaders, 4 Young Adult Volunteers (known as the Orange Nation) and to Community Life Builders (Yellow Shirts). Penny and I are the CLBs. What is a CLB, you ask? Thanks for asking. The CLB is a group of about 250 volunteers who travel to the Gathering to work as hotel contacts for the Adult Leaders, lead morning Sunshine Stops (adult leader meetings to give updates, information and help the adult leader feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the day), work as traffic (how do you get 25,000 people form one place to another, quickly, safely and efficiently - the CLBs are the ones on the roads, in the Convention Center, Alamodome and hotels making this happen), nightlife (after hour events in Alamodome and hotels). They wear yellow shirts to identify them to all who are there as people who are "walking information booths." CLBs either know the answer, can look the answer up or can call EVENT BASE for answers to questions that come up. Are CLBs vital to the Gathering? In New Orleans, following the NLYG 3 years ago, the people that run the Superdome, watched how our CLBs moved people in and out quickly and efficiently and told Mark Kiesling, the organizer of the CLBs, that they are going to rethink and rework what they do based on what they saw from the Gathering. What does that tell you?

I am pumped! I am ready to go! I have served as a CLB since the inception of this type of worker in 1995 at (ready for this?) San Antonio, TX. The first time we were used we didn't have yellow shirts. We had orange polo shirts. So it is interesting to head back to San Antonio for this Gathering. Much has changed. The size of the Gathering has grown. The role of the CLB. But the message has remained the same. Jesus Christ is still the Lord of all, the Savior of the world, the only hope for eternal life for any and all of us. Youth still need to learn how to Live/Love[d] (though that theme was "River of Light"). The proclamation of the Gospel is still front and center and the ONLY message that we have to share.

So it is time to go! It is time to grow! It is time to head out to become an active part of the Yellow Shirts. I look forward to giving you regular updates (if I have the time - we work from morning to night!). Pray for all who travel, all who attend, all who participate and all who work at Live/Love[d]. And I will see you when I get home!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tell It On the Mountain

Vacation Bible School 2013 is just about over. We have spent this week at St. Paul's with over 100 children, many, many teachers and helpers and the Word of God. The theme is "Tell it on the Mountain": Jesus Christ is Lord!" It has been a  good VBS. The lessons were strong, the music was great, the crafts (designed by our director) were fun and the games were exciting. We will have our closing service tonight (Thursday, June 20) at 6:30 p.m. It is a chance for moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas to come and hear the children sing out the songs they have been hearing all week when the kids comes home. It is also the chance for the families to hear the children "Tell It!" They will tell the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord.

At the same time we have our youth getting ready for the National Lutheran Youth Gathering in San Antonio, TX on July 1-5. There is a little over a week till they leave to join 25,000 other Lutheran youth in a spiritually uplifting event that will feed their faith through Word and Sacrament. It is an exciting time. I know that I am looking forward to going to the Gathering, not as a participant but as a volunteer worker, a Community Life Builder. Penny and I are excited that we were selected again to serve in this capacity. We will reconnect with folks we get to see every 3 years at the Gathering and also have the opportunity to help out the adults and youth in our hotel and in the areas that we are to work.

I will be writing during the Gathering to keep you up to date on what is going on - hopefully I will have Internet access and the time to do a daily blog. We'll have to see when we get down there.

So Go! Tell the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord!