Archive for March 23rd, 2009

What Were You Thinking?

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We’ve all asked this question of someone.  Today I found myself asking my five year old daughter this very question as she proceeded to walk out of the house in her bathing suit.  Keep in mind, here in New Hampshire it was 26 degrees today!  Over the past ten plus years in youth ministry I have asked this particular question more than any other. 

When I walked into the bathroom to find two sixth graders, each with a can of air freshener in hand, spraying each other – “What were you guys thinking?”  When the young man who just got his license came tearing into the church parking lot at 40 miles per hour only to slide sideways into a parking spot – “What were you thinking?”  When the three teenage girls decided to draw in permanent marker on another girls face at a winter retreat – “Seriously, what were you girls thinking?”

Well, rest assured, the research is in and the answer is clear.  They were not thinking at all.  Scientists have been studying the human brain using MRI’s to follow the portions of the brain that are used in decision making in adolescents.  The frontal lobe of the brain, which is also known as the reason center of the brain, is still under development in teenagers and doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties.  This explains why teenagers typically will pursue high risk activities -they don’t make the connection between their choices and the potential consequences.  The point is that all youths lack the judgement that can come with age and experience.

That is why an adult presence in the life of every teenager is so vital to helping them develop the discipline needed to make wise choices.

What are you doing to help a teenager learn how to make wise choices?

Monday Morning Quarterback

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Here’s how the goals are going:

  • Time with family: I’ve been entering another busy season as our district youth camp begins to take shape along with the additional meetings we’ve been having in regards to our building expansion.  That being said, my family time has been suffering.  I need to snap this back into balance now.  My time with my family is something that I have to fight hard for.  This will become a priority this week.
  • Exercising: I made it to the gym 2 times last week but I also got an outside run in. Total running distance this week was 17 miles.  My mileage was down from last week but it was a more accurate count of the miles as it has been less inside and more outside.  I also figured out why my lower legs have been experiencing pain.  It hasn’t been due to poor stretching, actually my calf muscles are stronger than the muscles in the front outside portion of my lower legs.  This has been causing my heel to pull up which has been flexing the muscle on the front of my legs.  I’m working on some exercises that will strengthen the front of my lower legs in order to balance the strain that they are receiving.  Until they even out I’ll be icing my lower legs and pushing through some pain.  47 days until the Big Lake 1/2 Marathon
  • Weight: last week – 198  this week – 199. It’s now been 23 since the beginning of the 40 Days of Water .  While I don’t crave coffee anymore I do look forward to the end of this sacrifice.  Coffee is what filled me up without adding any pounds on me.  Instead I have been snacking on fruits & veggies.  My appetite is something I am always trying to keep in check and the coffee used to do that for me.  I can’t wait for April 9th!
  • Read Two Books Per Week:  We’re going through a teaching series at GCC on the Holy Spirit so I reread Jack Hayford’s book, The Beauty Of Spiritual Language.  This is a great book that removes some myths about speaking in tongues as well as what it really means to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
  • Monthly Date Night With Kim: This week is supposed to be our date night.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m looking forward to it and I think Kim will have fun as well!
  • April Vacation in Philadelphia:  Our vacation plans have definitely been changed.  We’ll be reallocating our April vacation budget to July and spending a week at the beach instead.  In place of April vacation I will be heading to Jamaica with our youth mission team.  We’ve had a couple people that have had to drop off the team due to health issues and family stuff.  Knowing the importance of good leadership on this trip I feel it is necessary to go.

That’s all for this weekly update.  More next week!