Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get out of my Face, Your in my Space!

One thing I can't stand in life are people that condemn others based on their interpretation of the bible. Usually, these people are also the ones that try and force religion down your throat. If you aren't a Christian but are seeking a relationship with Christ, you can feel overwhelmed or even turned off to the whole idea when someone confronts you the wrong way.

For the most part, Methodists are pretty passive. We give a message and you receive how you feel fit. We avoid phrases like: "Your going to burn in hell if you don't believe...". Other popular denominations love these phrases and use them liberally.

I have friends at school who are very closed minded about their religion. It's their way or the highway sort of thing. You can never have a conversation with them because they are so set in their theology. Think of how much better we would be if we stopped and learned from one another. So many non-believers don't believe because today's Christians are painted in such negative light. Others are pushed out of the church for their beliefs.

So... do you think you can meet me in the middle next time?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Questioning the Purpose

For the past 2 years of my life I have been involved with a club at my school named S.T.A.R.S Peer Leaders. I have loved that group. It has kept me grounded and given me reason to conduct myself in a moral manner. We are a group of 14 who work on ways to cut the drug use down at our high school. I came into maturity of the real issue a few months ago.

My 10th grade year was simple, I knew very few people who were into the drug/party scene. I didn't think drugs were a big deal at HHS. Most everyone I knew still said that they were never going to do it.

My 11th Grade year was a bit more complicated. I became more aware of my surroundings. I knew that a few certain groups of my peers were occasional drinkers. I noticed that most of the parties were held at upperclassman homes. Most parties were not the type you see on movies either. The parents were home and knew what was going on, there wasn't ridiculously loud music playing, and the houses weren't huge. Pot also started coming into the scene.

This summer, I wanted to see what the scene was like, (if it had grown any, if something interesting had happened, etc.). I started hanging out with the party animals to see why they did it. My findings are quite simple:

Most teens see it as a new way to be with each other
Some do it for attention
Others do it because they like the risk of getting caught

There are a few more. Now as I sit as a Peer Leader going into my senior year of high school I ask myself, what is our real purpose? Why do we concentrate so much on drinking and drugs? Have I made an impact on a peers life? We break rules everyday, so why do we decide that to take a right stand means just to pledge that we won't drink or smoke some a little weed? I love the people in this group and I have loved being a part of it.

My viewpoint has changed to this: We (S.T.A.R.S) are here to educate the public. We are not here to condemn the public for the choices they make. We are a peer counciling group. We will help anyone in crisis or in need.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Recent Termination of the Youth and Children's Offices of the Tennessee Conference

If you have not herd about the recent news, then I suggest that you check out Gavin's website for all the details. The following letter will make more since after you read his blog.
I sent an email to the Bishop earlier tonight, This is what it said...
Dear Bishop,
My name is Johnathan Jones, I am Communications Coordinator for the CCYM of the Tennessee Conference. The recent terminations of both the Youth and Children's Ministries jobs have caught me very off guard. As a member of the CCYM, I should have been one of the first notified about this issue. I would like to ask why we (the CCYM) were not asked about this topic? Why didn't we get a formal letter or email about this matter? The communication of this was very he said, she said. I still feel like I am in the dark about this whole topic. 
In a few months, we will embark on a new year for the CCYM, if there still is such a committee. We will start with FRESH. Who will facilitate this event? I am very concerned that if this event does not go as planned, the youth of the Tennessee Conference will not have a voice. As of the moment, I feel like I do not have a voice.
Thank you for your time and I am awaiting your reply.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Agnostic Andy

I found out yesterday that one of my friends has claimed himself as agnostic. This did not come as a complete shock but it was a little awkward to hear. Andy has had a lot of things go wrong in his life. He has had some tough times. I just can't help but think that if he would trust in God things would be a little easier. He is pushing God away when he needs him the most. Then again, most people tend to do that. I guess that is just a test.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Out of Control

Sometimes I feel like things are out of my control. Good things happen, bad things happen. It is a cycle that continues in my life here in this recent past of mine. Everything is just out of my control. What I do have control over is going ok. I just need to let what is out of my control happen!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Commando Tennis

Last summer, a few of my buddies and myself decided we were going to go out for the tennis team at school. Well we did and now we are on the team. We started practice 2 weeks ago. Private Lessons and strength and conditioning occurred before that. Anyway, we started Challenge matches a few days ago. Challenge matches are the factor that determines your ranking on the team. I have had two challenge matches and won them both. One match was against one of my good friends (he was pretty mad that I beat him). The other was just another kid on the team. I don't know my actually ranking but I do know that I'm not last!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Those Who Trust...

In the Lord, are a strong mountain, they will not, oh no not, not be moved. I sang that song a few months ago. I felt like I understood the meaning and I feel like i still do. But what about those who trust in other people? Seems like they will always be let down at some point or another, It is human not to live up to someone elses expectations, right? I have always believed to give someone a chance until they screw it up. After the screw up I decide if I will give them another chance. I don't know what hurts more, being let down, or giving that second, third or even tenth chance. Like I said I am a trusting person, this is a quality that is both good and bad to have. You always seemed to be deceived by someone or something. Never forget to read the fine print!