Today is the last day of school. There is a part of me that is very excited and relieved, and there is a part of me that is very reflective. This seems to happen almost every year. I wonder if this mixture of emotions happens to other people?

First, the part of me that is excited – I made it through another year, in another new building, with another new principal, with two new grades. Plus, I still have my sanity. I have found a niche teaching elementary music and I love the addition of the older kids. I feel like I connect with the older kids better but I love them all.

Second, the reflective part of me – Part of it is just my personality. I am a bit melancholy. In the past, however, I have always finished the year wondering if that one would be my last. Because of my work with church ministry and my work with teaching I can never decide what I am going to do when I grow up. I have always committed to God that I would be available to do whatever He wanted me to do, whether that was teaching or working with a church full-time.

Thirdly, for the first time in over a dozen years I do not have a summer job – yet. In the past I have worked with band camps or at the church. This summer I am totally free of any of that responsibility. I’m not even taking summer classes. It is a very weird feeling. There’s a part of me that wants to do something else and there’s a part of me that is saying just enjoy the time at home with your family. A refreshing summer might be exactly what I, and my family, need.

When all is said and done the job will sort itself out on its own. What I know for sure is that I have one more day to finish up school.

“Heigh ho, heigh ho, It’s off to work I go, Heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho…”

The past few weeks have been really exciting. We kicked off our summer schedule for 3-D, the youth group at Grace Evangelical Church. We recently finished the lock-in and started our service projects. Last week we were at camp. Every year for the past 6 or 7 years we’ve taken our youth group down to Spring Hill Camp, in Seymour, IN to help out. We love going down there. We help out the camp during the day doing everything from bathrooms to dishes to mulch and firewood. In the afternoon and evening we have our time together as a youth group with teaching, team-building, praise & adoration, and just plain fun. We work hard, play hard, and sleep as little as possible! Here’s a picture of us at the end of the week.

gec-spring-hill.jpg

Our theme for the week was 2-fold. One of our focuses was team-building. We did a variety of activities and events designed to build unity among the youth. It started off roughly but by the end of the week there was a lot of growth. God is good.

The other focus was in our teaching. We taught on the 7 “I Am’s” of Jesus in the book of John. We looked at how they reflected the character of Jesus and how we should respond as a result.

It was a really good week. There were a few injuries but nothing serious. We had a big splinter or two, a few wasp bites, a scratched eye, twisted ankles, a couple of water balloon injuries, and a various assortment of other maladies. Fortunately, none of them was life-threatening and all of the afflicted returned to duty after receiving treatment.

Over the years we have had a great relationship with the camp and many of the staff. The time with them only increased my appreciation of them and their ministry. Many deep friendships have been forged and I’m sure they will continue through the years. If you are looking for a place to send campers let me recommend them. They train their staff well and they have a great focus!

God is continuing to grow and deepen our youth group. They are a terrific group. Our desire is that they continue to grow and reflect, even more brightly, the image of Christ in a dark world.

Pray with us that God would accomplish this in the lives of our youth and others as well.

Pray with us that God would use the staff of Spring Hill to impact the lives of the campers this summer.

Pray with us that God’s name would be known across the land in every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Pray that God would use us and we would be submissive to him.

Pray that Jesus would be seen and understood as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus said to him,”I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (ESV).”