A View of Adoption from the ‘Brother’ Side

I’ve posted a number of things about our adoption of Max, some bumps in the road as we have pursued adoption, and experiences through adoption that have changed us.  Recently, one of Max’s brothers wrote about how adoption has impacted him.

Max, along with the siblings in his birth family, gained three brothers and a sister when he joined our family.  A few years later he welcomed a sister-in-law.  One of his brothers, Austin, is a student at Johnson University and shared how a class project on the book of Psalms brought to the surface how adoption has changed him.

This semester, I have had the opportunity to take a course at Johnson University that delves into the Psalms. During this course, we have discussed many different things, ranging from the structure of Hebrew poetry to the implementation of the Psalms in modern worship.

One thing that we focused on heavily was a paradigm proposed by Walter Bruggeman. Bruggeman claims that Psalms can be classified into three groups: Psalms of Orientation, Psalms of Disorientation, and Psalms of New Orientation…

Read the rest of his post on Austin’s blog, Vintage

Home Stretch of our 1MISSION Project

1mission_2For the past few months, we have been working on raising $4000 for “our family” in Mexico – the Ortiz Barajas Family. We are now in the home stretch!

To date, we raised $2,500 through concession stands at our Upward Basketball League and at a karate tournament held at WCC. That amount also includes a gift from our KidCity kids. We have also had a couple of online donations which brings our total collected to $3,100 – we are just $900 from our goal.

We have a few more weeks to reach our goal and provide a home for this family in Mexico. Here are Two Things you can do:

1) Give To Our Online Campaign. All gifts that are given go directly toward providing a home for Barajas family through 1MISSION. If we have many individuals give online, we can reach our goal.

2) Share the Link to our Online Campaign. If you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media outlet, share the link to our campaign page. Let you friends, family and followers know how they can partner with us and with 1MISSION to provide a home for this family.

Here is the link to our page where you can donate and also share: https://my.1mission.org/t/2539/impact

If you are able, please give toward building a home for this family.  Take a minute to share it with your followers!

IMPACT Tailgate Party Video

Last Sunday we had a Tailgate Party for our students. People tailgate before football games, why not before church! We had a good time with some tasty breakfast food, 9 Square (our students love that game), corn hole and even some gift card giveaways.

Dale put some of our pics into a video. Check it out:

IMPACT Snap Shot 2014-15

Last Sunday (Sept 7th) we had an information meeting for our parents and students to share about what’s happening in IMPACT Student Ministry this school year. We gave a quick overview and had a few printed handouts with information. One of the main things we wanted to provide families was a snap shot of the events & activities planned for the school year. With the many activities our students are involved in, we are hoping this will help as families juggles schedules.

Here is the Snap Shot. (If you are involved in IMPACT Student Ministry, feel free to share this!)

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InstaScavenger Hunt @DownloadYM

This weekend our IMPACT students participated in an InstaScavenger Hunt.  Using smartphones to capture various pictures and videos, they uploaded them to Instagram with the hashtag #impactinsta.  While the concept of the scavenger hunt has been around for years, we had a great time going around town taking pictures under bank signs, of the entire group in a bathroom stall and a video of the chicken dance under the KFC sign.

A few of the pictures are below.  You can search #impactinsta on Instagram to all of them.

I modified a list for our hunt from Download Youth Ministry.  It was a great resource to use and had some fun ideas. (Thanks DYM!)

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Progressive Dinner #impacteatandgo

Group SelfieThis weekend we took our IMPACT students on a Progressive Dinner. The idea of a progressive dinner is definitely not new, but it creates a good opportunity for students and adults to spend time together around a meal.

We had three stops for our evening (salad, main course, dessert) and our hosts were awesome. The weather was nice enough that after finishing a course, we could go outside.

To add another element to the evening, we had various photo challenges at each home. We encouraged students with smart phones and Instagram accounts to take different pictures and post them on IG with the hashtag #impacteatandgo. It made it easy to search all the pictures that our students took.

While getting ready for the evening, I read about a website – ink361.com – which allows you to connect to your Instagram account. Then, you can search for specific users or hashtags. I plugged in our hashtag on that site and it pulled up all the photos we took.

It was a fun evening with a good balance of structure and free time. We had good food, took some fun pics and enjoyed hanging out together.

Here are just a couple examples of the pics our group posted:

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Hurtful Words have an Atomic Half-Life ~ Bruce Van Horn

kicking1Our words carry a lot of weight and the things we say can have an impact long past the actual event in which they were said. I read this article today and it reaffirms the power of our words.

The author of the article shares this memory from his past:

I’m now 48 years old but I still remember the words, and how they made me feel, that a coach said to me when I was 17–31 years ago!

I was not feeling well and had performed poorly at a cross-country meet. I normally placed in the top-5 for my team, but came in well below that for this race. When the coach asked me what happened, I just said “I didn’t feel good.” He must have interpreted that as “I just didn’t feel like pushing hard today.” What he said to me in front of all of my teammates was “Van Horn, you’re a loser! You’ll never amount to anything in life.”

Read the rest of the article (the link is below) and the author’s thoughts on the power of our words. It’s a good reminder to all of us.

Hurtful Words have an Atomic Half-Life ~ Bruce Van Horn.