Every Easter my mom would have Easter Eggs hidden all over our house for me, my sister, and brother.  These eggs have cold hard cash in them and as a kid I would get so excited to treasure hunt (Ok…so she did it all the way through my senior year…AND I LOVED IT!  I am not afraid to admit it, money is money…go hide some eggs with cash in them today and I will go a lookin’).  What’s my point?  SYM HAS AN EASTER EGG HUNT!!!!!

Here is what you need to know:
…ALL codes expire 4.9.2012
…not valid with any other offer
…excludes simply all access and LIVE Curriculum
…GO, GO, GO!!!


 

Hilarious idea for a promo code Easter Egg Hunt from the gang over at Simply Youth Ministry. In the spirit of Easter, they have scattered a handful of promo codes around the site TODAY ONLY, ranging in value from $5 to $100. They may only be used a limited number of times so you better get to looking! Fun.

JG



Don’t you wish you could send a letter to yourself when you were 18? I do. I would have many things to say to myself like finish Algebra in college and there are other fish in the sea.  Still, had I finished Algebra and easily moved on from a first love, there are no more important things than the next five.
Dear Young P31Wife,
  1. You have a Savior. He was sent here to give you life. No, not some unattainable gift like the lottery. No, not given to someone famous and more worthy. Me. He was sent here for you. Ransom paid. No matter what you you done. Sent here for you to give you life.The very living God who walks before you in every single thing you do. Yes, Young P31Wife, you have Jesus. He is there right beside you waiting for you to call out to him. Call out.
  2. Jesus loves you. Not the Jesus you see on those pictures that really never made you feel anything or the generic Jesus that is some unattainable figment of imagination that comes with a side of bland religion. But, the Jesus that lives and breathes and walks beside you. The Jesus that wept for his friend Lazarus. The Jesus that raised him from the dead. The Jesus that sweats blood and cries out for His Father. The Jesus that forgave murders, thieves, and adulterers. The Jesus that will love and comfort prostitutes. The Jesus who I know will love you when no one else in our sin sick world will. He is real, and He loves you.
  3. Rely on the Holy Spirit.  This is vitally important for your survival! Allow yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus called him the Counselor and insisted on His importance, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). He will teach all things and remind you of everything Jesus has said! Do not rely on your own empowerment, rely on the Holy Spirit. He will get you through hard times in a way that no earthly person can. Young P31Wife, He will sustain you.
  4. Go to church. Reach out to those who are in love with Jesus like yourself. Go to church with them. These people will pray with you and for you. They will hold you accountable. They know how valuable you are, because they see you through Christ lenses. They love Christ and you and worship. You have a family at church that is waiting for you. Young P31Wife, yoke yourself with other followers and go to church together.
  5. Be a blessing. Help someone. Be a leader. Work in Awana. Go on a missions trip, as many as you can. Look at the able body that you have and give. Give for Jesus. Help poor people. Help kids. Work alongside other believers. You will see with your own eyes how Jesus changes lives with His Word and His love. Learn that you are a wife of noble character by being a blessing to everyone around you.
PS. I love you. You are loving and kind and stunning. Your life is filled with joy, grace, and mercy. You are going to repsect and honor your husband. He surpasses your expectations and is completely devoted to you.  Your children are beyond any beauty you have ever known.
I love you.
P31Wife
Meredith Wiser is The Plumber’s 31 Wife. Here’s what she says about herself: I am a Jesus-loving, stay-at-home mama to three babies, and married to one amazing husband who happens to be a plumber. My heart is to encourage women to grow closer to Jesus through my journey to be a Proverbs 31 wife.

Weekend Teaching Series: You Own the Weekend: El Toro Viejo HS (week 4 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: You are pursued by God.

Service Length: 66 minutes

Understandable Message: Students (Jake and Cassie) did an incredible job communicating the timeless truths of God and talking about how God pursues us and how we fall short of God but Jesus made a way for us to be restored and reunited with Him. They were some of the best student speakers we’ve ever had in HSM – and Krissy did a great job of sharing her incredible story of faith through her life. God spoke so clearly through our students, it was powerful and I loved watching students respond.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: Students made a couple of great videos (here and here). The highlight of the programming was the drumline from El Toro – they killed it during the countdown and surprised everyone by coming back during the worship song “Go” it was really great! Students also made crosses so during the closing songs of the service they could come up and write down what they were pursuing and nail them to the cross. Simple but so strong

Music Playlist: Go, Pure and Holy Passion, How He Loves, We Will Run, Forever Reign

Favorite Moment: I loved that the students had a huge pancake breakfast-for-dinner after the 6:30pm service on Saturday night and between services on Sunday morning. A nice, fun and delicious relational time for everyone to hang out at!

Up next: You Own the Weekend: Tesoro High School (series finale, week 5 of 5)




I hit several sites a day, staying conencted, looking for deals, checking social media.  Here are the sites I hit most every day…multiple times a day.

DEALS…
•  I usually do not go to be until after midnight so the first site I hit is WOOT!  Woot is the best one deal a day website and they have several sister sites listed on the right of their page, click’em all.
•  AppShopper top 200 (sort by changed to see the fast movers)
•  Bens Bargains
•  1SaleaDay

NEWS…
•  Google Reader
•  Engadget
•  Digg

SOCIAL MEDIA…
• 
Twitter
•  Facebook

APPS…
•  Fighter Verse
•  YouVersion
•  Logos
• 
Facebook
•  HootSuite
•  Zite
•  Pulse
•  Reeder


I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks more or less “off” – You Own the Weekend is our annual series where I don’t teach – students do! I’m a firm believer in giving away the platform (maybe to a fault) so students can hear from different voices and diffrent learning styles. Vote in today’s poll and consider checking out 5 Reasons You Should Let Someone Else Teach Next Week.

JG



Over the last week we’ve been meeting with youth workers and hearing from them about their ministries.  It’s been fun and rewarding to hear what God is doing in ministries all over the country.  I posted about some great things happening here.  I’ve also heard some stories of things that are painful and frustrating.  Here’s a few of the most consistent points of pain we’ve been hearing:

- Finding resources can be difficult: many youth leaders express frustration with finding a resource (curriculum, lesson plans, games, activities, etc.).  It’s very difficult to find something that they felt met all their needs.  The common response was to find and use several resources that added together to what they needed.

- Parents just don’t understand (just like The Fresh Prince): youth leaders everywhere are struggling with parents not viewing youth ministry as important to their kids life as school, sports, music, whatever.  We blogged about this issue here.  Parents don’t believe a Bible study, Sunday school class, youth group meeting, retreat, mission trip, or service experience is as important in the life of their child as those other things.  It’s almost universal in youth ministry right now.

- Students are over-committed: nearly every conversation I’ve had in the last 2 years with youth workers involves this topic.  Kids just have so much (too much) going on.  Between school, jobs, sports, family commitments, boyfriend/girlfriend, and whatever else their is youth group can barely be fit into their lives.  They have to be here, do that, finish this, attend whatever and then try to make it to youth group if they can.  It’s really hard to develop deep relationships with students you don’t see very often.

- Money: it’s a fact of ministry life right now.  There isn’t as many dollars available for ministry as there used to be for many people in ministry.  And yet great youth ministry is still happening.  People fundraise, do less, choose less expensive programs but they are still doing ministry.

What about you?  What’s the big pain for you in ministry right now?  We’d love see if we could help.

There are challenging situations that anyone working with students face and helping a student navigate through the confusion and pain of losing family member can be heart wrenching. For some of us, its not a scenario we have faced, and for others it might be something you have walked through before . So please let us know what  advice you would give this youth worker:

Recently one of our student’s mother lost a long battle with cancer and I am curious how other youth workers have navigated situations like this with students in the past. How involved were you, for how long after were you working with the student and how did you love and support them through the loss? 

Your thoughts on this are invaluable as there is no manual for this sort of situation.

GS