Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Anyway, on to the beans being spilt. I am launching my own ministry called Merge. This has been in the works for quite some time and I have been waiting to announce it. Merge will basically consist of three parts. Merge camps will be designed for students in grades 6-12. Merge will be producing camps, retreats and conferences through out the year. Our first retreat will be January 18th-21st 2008 in Gatlinburg,TN. As of this posting, this retreat has several youth groups committed to come and is already over 50% booked. Our summer camps are going to be held in the Florida Panhandle for 7 weeks in the summer of 2008. As of this posting, one complete week has already been filled and this is still over a year away. We also will be producing several mini retreats and disciple now weekends throughout the year. If your youth group would like to be a part of this please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you know that I have spent 14 years in student ministry. As a result I have a passion for helping student ministries reach students for Christ. The second part of Merge will be focusing on equipping student ministers and youth workers through custom Creativity and Leadership Conferences. We will be holding 4 of these retreats each fall as well as booking private Creativity and Leadership Conferences for individual churches. Again, for more information on these please contact me at email@example.com.
And lastly, I will be speaking at Camps, Retreats, Conferences, and Churches throughout the year. To see my schedule you can visit my new site sammyclary.com. This site will consist of mainly student ministry related items and my booking information. If the crazy antics of my everyday life are what you are looking for, then my current site will still be the place for you.
My new site sammyclary.com is operational but more is coming to the site. It is still a work in progress. The sites to get all the camp and retreat information are mergecamps.org or mergecamps.com. These two sites are still about a month away from being operational.
What can you do?
1. Pray for our ministry
2. Tell your student pastor or youth leader about us.
3. You can partner with us. We are being set up as a non profit ministry and all contributions are tax deductible. We are waiting to receive our tax status back from the IRS. We have been told that the process takes between 3-6 months. We hvae already been approved by the Secretary of State and usually the IRS follows along with the whatever the decision of the State.
The way it is looking, we will be hopefully launching all of this at about the same time as Isaac is able to be at home full time.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Anyway, Joel is the youth minister at FBC Williamston and I had the chance to hang out with their youth group and see what all was going on. I learned a new game tonight. Basically you put a bunch of people in a gym and you play dodgeball except there are no teams and it is every person for themselves. So technically it is perfectly legal to pelt someone with a red playground ball from point blank range. I found this to be quite theraputic. I can only imagine how many people left with welps from being bombarded. My apologies to the adult leader that I almost decapitated from 10 feet away.
They had some cool stuff going on down in Williamston. They had students leading on stage and students running sound and media which was cool. I will be back down there on April 15th speaking so I hope to see you guys there. I hope there will be a every man for himself dodgeball tourney that night after youth.(That was a hint to the youth pastor).
In other news, we will be heading back to Cincinnati next Monday. It looks like we will be there for a couple of weeks.
I will be launching my new website in the next week or so. It will have contact information as well as my upcoming speaking schedule and other cool stuff. I will be speaking at Pendleton Street BC the week after we get back from Cincinnati. Other upcoming dates will be listed on the new site.
One last thing, today I went to my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary today. It amazing to see two people who have persevered through so many years. They truly are an inspiration to me.
Friday, February 23, 2007
But that wasn't the cool part of what I saw. These guys have students that lead. They had discipled and mentored students to a point where they ran the sound, they led in worship through their student band and more. You could tell that they had spent a lot of time pouring into their students rather than just having a program where the adults did everything and they just sat back and watched. I think a big part of their success has to be with their small groups that take place in homes all over the area on Sunday nights. Having been in Student Ministry for over a decade, it saddens me when I see churches neglecting the basics in discipling kids. And when I say discipling, I'm not talking about sticking them in an area and having a 30 minute lesson with them and calling that small group or discipleship. I'm talking about someone that is more mature spending time pouring into their life. Many churches are failing in raising up the next generation of leaders. Good job MSM. You guys are raising up leaders.
Another great moment Wednesday night was seeing Bryan Holder( http://bryanholder.blogspot.com) an awkward on stage moment during the music. He was called on stage by Chasen (http://chasencallahan.blogspot.com), the student worship pastor to demonstrate his skills. I'm still not sure what those skills were but it was funny.
I failed to mention that these guys are doing all of this without a youth facility of their own. They are in the building stages as we speak. The cool thing is that with the rate of their growth they will have to do multiple services as soon as it opens. Their new youth facility "The Garage" will hold several hundred students. Parents, if you are in the upstate and looking for a place to get your students plugged in to a Student Ministry that have an impact in their lives, then get them to Marathon on Wednesday nights at 7:07 p.m. Then be sure to get them involved in one of the small groups that meet on Sunday Nights.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Today we went to Charlotte to let Isaac see where they build some of the Nascar cars. Our first stop was Hendrick Motor Sports. They have the cars of Jeff Gordon(Isaac's favorite driver), Jimmy Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Casey Mears. We were visiting one of the shops and met a very nice lady at the desk named Sally(I think this was her name. I hope this is right because she really hooked Isaac up with a great suprise). We were talking about the Hendrick Marrow Program and how much programs like that have helped Isaac and others who needed donors, when she tells us she is going to make a call. She called two more very nice ladies. Isaac met Courtney and Pam. They head up the Hendrick Bone Marrow Program. Courtney asked Isaac if he would like to meet one of Jeff Gordon's crew. He happened to be her husband. Courtney and Pam then proceeded to give Isaac a personal and all access tour of Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson's race shop. He got to see all of the cars as they were being built. He met many of the crew members. They all were probably the friendliest group of people we have ever met. Each one would stop what they were doing and spend some time talking to Isaac. He met Jeff Gordon's spotter who gave Isaac his hat. One crew man gave him some lug nuts off of Jeff Gordon's car. He met Courtney's husband who is Jeff Gordon's gas man. While we were standing there, Jimmy Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus came up to Isaac and spoke to him for a few moments. All in all it was probably the coolest thing ever. I was about to wet my pants it was so cool. Isaac just took it all in with amazement.
Next we went to several other race shops including Ganassi Racing, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Ginn Racing and last we went to Penske Racing.
At Penske Racing it was like Deja Vu. The receptionist asked us if he had gotten to see a lot at the other shops. We told her he had been given a behind the scenes tour at Hendrick. As soon as we said that, it was almost as if they didn't want to be outdone. She called up a guy named Gary who is the shop foreman at Penske. That basically means he is the head honcho of the over 200 employees who build the cars for Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch. He the proceeded to put us on a golf cart and give Isaac a personal behind the scenes tour of everything that goes on in their shop. When I say shop, I mean the place is so huge inside that you have to have a golf cart to get from one end to the other. They had over 70 completed race cars for the two drivers with each car costing around $200,000. This was another way cool pee my pants moment and once again Isaac was in awe of everything. He just soaked it all in and you could see his little mind thinking.
Thank you to all of the Nascar folks we visited today, especially to the very nice people at Hendrick Motorsports and Penske Racing. They both won Isaac's heart
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
While we are up there we are going to drive on up to Randleman North Carolina and let him see where the Victory Junction Camp is. This is the camp started by the Pettys. It is for children with special medical needs and gives them an opportunity to experience camp when they possibly otherwise couldn't. Isaac qualifies to go for either the week with Liver Transplant Patients or the week with Bone Marrow Transplant Patients. We hope that after he is doing better and feeling better, that he will let us send in his application for camp. Right now he is still going through mommy and daddy attachment because of all he has been through. Actually, it is probably more of the mommy attachment thing. Anyway, we will surely have some pics of our adventure tommorrow. Who knows, maybe I will take my shirt off and paint the number 8 on my chest and stand outside of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated headquarters. Na that's been done before every week at the Nascar race. Oh well, I'll think of something to do.
That's all I have for now. 3 Forever
Sunday, February 18, 2007
PS. Jamie that is the funniest thing I have ever seen on video and in person. Bryan I hope your head hasn't exploded. Chase,well you just let us down with the dud.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Anyway, it is cold outside. -6 windchill. We have several inches of snow topped with a half inch of ice topped with a half inch of sleet topped with an inch of snow.
Happy Valentines day to my wife. I asked her to marry me 14 years ago today.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
In the process of losing it, he proceeded across two of the four lanes before he correctly parked it right into the concrete retaining wall backwards. He came close to taking three cars including me into the wall with him. Fortunately, it was a single car wreck and he was ok. Although the same couldn't be said for his Toyota 4 Runner. After that I came back to the house and cleaned my pants and stayed indoors for the rest of the day except when I went out to get my Papa John's Pizza.
The weather is rough out right now. We have several inches of snow on the ground topped by about half an inch of ice and another 1-3 inches of snow expected tonight. We will be in the hospital most of the day tommorrow.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
- My Recliner- There is nothing like sitting down in front of the TV and just taking me a big ole snooze.
- Zaxby's - The restaurant chain hasn't made it's way up north yet.
- Duke's Sandwiches- These cannot be beat.
- Nick Henry's cake- When asked what I wanted for Christmas this was my only request.
- And at number 5 something that I didn't really realize that Isaac and I had missed it that much until yesterday. What might you say is that? For people up north, you have to understand something about some of us here in the south. There is nothing more fun on a warm Saturday afternoon than blowing up fire ants with firecrackers, sparklers, and smoke bombs.
Yesterday, Isaac and I were walking around in the back yard and we discovered a huge fire ant nest. Before we went to Cincinnati, Isaac and I had a favorite Saturday past time of seeking out fire ant nests and proceeding to destroy them with all forms of pyrotechnics available. When we found that nest yesterday, we both were excited and rushed into the garage to get out the fireworks.
There is a science to properly destroying these creatures. First, you must stir the nest with a stick. This gets the fire ants aggravated. Then you insert one or two smoke bombs into the nest to really get them moving about. Once they are good and stirred up, then you can either bomb them with firecrackers or you can torch them with a few sparklers. Yesterday we choose the sparkler method and created an ant size Mt. Everest with scores of fleeing and dead ants. After about an hour, we decided that the enemy had been destroyed. And a good time was had by all.(Except for the fire ants that received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on most of their body.)
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Anyway, in honor of the smurfs, I give you random useless facts that everyone needs to know about the smurfs.
- There were actually two female smurfs. Smurfette and Sassette
- Gargamel was derived from the word gargantua.
- Gargamel was a popular name during the middle ages
- Gargamel's first appearance was in the Smurfnapper in 1959
- Grouchy Smurf wasn't always grouchy. He was stung by an insect that turned him brown and he began biting other Smurfs. When Papa Smurf turned him back blue, he never lost his Grouchy persona.
- Smurfette originally had black hair and was created by Gargamel. Papa Smurf gave her an Extreme Smurfover- Blue Edition.
Well that is enough Smurfs for today. We are still compressing the video of Isaac's Christmas Train Project. I will post it when we get it formatted to fit on Youtube and I'll include a link.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
As I said the trip down was pretty smooth. On the way back, however things were a little less than fun. As I was coming back into the city and passing Turner Field, I noticed the overhead highway board sign saying traffic was stopped ahead. I flipped the radio to a local channel and come to find out, I-85 was completely shut down at 10th Street because of a wreck. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this all occurred at 5:20p.m. I exited off the interstate and went through downtown and North through Buckhead. Needless to say that after 2 hours I had finally made it 15 miles and had finally cleared the accident. I-85 was still shut down behind me. Suddenly the two hours I spent going around the wreck didn't seem too bad.
In other news, I would like to give shout out to our friends in cold and snowy Cincinnati. Not to rub it in or anything but tommorrow it will be 60 degrees here and I will be washing my car in my shorts and t-shirt. I hear you guys may have a warm front coming through. It looks like it may get up to 23 for you tommorrow. We will be back up there Tuesday.
In one last other news, a ton of people have been asking to see Isaac's video of the Christmas Project. With the help of Chase, I will have it up on youtube tommorrow for everyone to see.
Monday, February 5, 2007
Seriously though, we are about 3/4 of the way finished unpacking and can finally see the end in sight. Isaac is getting excited about his train room because my dad started cutting some of the base pieces today. Construction on his new train layout will hopefully begin by the end of the week. His lab numbers looked good today other than his electrolytes. Home health care is coming back to the house tommorrow morning to check his labs again. We will be heading back to Cincinnati a week from tommorrow. We will be up there for some of his in hospital stuff and then we will be back for a few weeks and then do it all over again. We would rather split time between here and there than to be stuck up there the whole time.
In other news, I will be making a big announcement concerning my vocation with in the next few days. I can't really do a lot right now because of the uncertainty of our back and forth time. But this is something we are really excited about.