Sunday, November 28, 2004

Movie Review

Last night Neil and I saw the new Nic Cage movie, National Treasure. It could have been more aptly name "National Mockery". It was, however, the most witty of the conspiracy theory movies. It made for pretty fun watching, even if it was implausible.

The funniest thing wasn't even in the movie itself, though. The theater was sold out or nearly sold out for this particular showing. About ten minutes into the movie I went to get a drink. I told Neil, "Hey I'm going to get a drink. I'll be right back." He got up and followed me. Just as we got to the bottom of the theater a couple sat in our seats.
"Neil, why are you following me?"
"I want a drink too."
"I would have gotten you a drink. Someone took our seats."
Sure enough, we looked up to see a couple enjoying our good seats.
When we returned from our drink-buying cooperative experience we had trouble finding seats. We did, eventually, find two seats side by side, but this will make for a good story years from now.

I've had a good thanksgiving weekend. I haven't been to 'work' since Wednesday. It's not so bad, it's just that my house feels really crowded all the time.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving and the weekend that follows it

Today is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Yesterday my father-in-law and I spent at least four hours working on my van. It's still not quite right. Oh well. We'll get that universal joint fixed eventually. There's something exceedingly difficult about working on your own car with your father-in-law, who also happens to be a sometimes mechanic and knows wayyyyy more about cars than you. Ouch. It was a mildly painful experience. Anyways, from this side of the experience I can say that everything is okay.
It looks like we've got our house picked out in Caruthersville. If our loan looks like it's going to go through we'll probably start moving some stuff next week. And mowing the lawn.

Grace and peace to all of you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Did I mention that my in-laws are at our house, and that we're hosting Thanksgiving this year? And I also mention that, in my humbler opinion, my wife and her mother are the best cooks in the continental US? Well, that's all true. I can't imagine a better Thanksgiving dinner than eating what these two have cooked at my own house. Woohoo.

My paint ball time yesterday was fantastic. I only got injured once, and that was a shot to the head, right near the hair line.

Anyways, I won't be anti-social. I saw a cartoon yesterday where some parents were asking their kid how his day went. He said, "I'll write it on my blog." They said, "Why can't you just tell us?" So, I'll go talk to the people who are here in my house.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to all who venture to read this blog.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My Brother

If you're a regular reader you maybe have noticed the change of format a bit, and the apology for and deletion of my entire blog. I regret that my wife had to delete the thing in the interest of damage control. Oh well. The Lord gives and He takes away.
I wanted to comment a little on that situation. You see, there is a pastor in town who doesn't make it a secret that he doesn't agree with Young Life's philosophy or methods. I can respect that. I respect a lot of people I don't agree with.
Reading random linked blogs one day he read my blog. And he recognized who I was and was concerned. Now, this is a guy who has nothing to gain by helping to protect the integrity of Young Life in this community. Maybe some days he'd like to see us just leave. But his heart was for the students to and with whom I minister. He didn't want to see them stumble from my public failure.
I am deeply touched, and I couldn't say how touched I was when I sat in his office. It fills me with hope to know that we are truly about building God's Kingdom and not our individual ones. I don't even want a kingdom, and neither does he. We both want kids to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ, and that makes all the differences fade away.
I count myself honored to serve Christ alongside this brother who had the integrity and the love to ask me personally and help me to ensure the reputation of the ministry.
Thanks, brother. You know who you are.

The Rabbi Jesus

This morning I spoke at the prayer breakfast about Jesus as a rabbi and his encounter with the hemorrhaging woman.
I told this group of aged men that Jesus could heal their hurting souls. The problem they probably don't think of themselves as having hurting souls. None of us really do.

Today I'm going paint balling with a group of guys from the 'ville. It should be a lot of fun and memories. I'm looking forward to shooting some kids and having a lot of laughs. We'll go out to eat afterwards so we can tell all the stories and enjoy ourselves.

I haven't blogged in a while. I guess I'm a little shy after last week. That's probably good. Maybe before long I'll start a parallel blog under a pseudonym and keep it more anonymous. Who knows. I know I like/need the venue to air my thoughts without fear of distress and retribution.

This morning I'm amazed at the calling that I have received and am receiving from God to serve and love high school kids. What a joy.

Monday night we had a new potential leader come to our team meeting and stay around for club. Club went really well. For some reason numbers were down a little. But the kids were amazing. It was one of my favorite talk nights, the Need talk. When I told kids that I believe they act out of the pain and disappointment in their lives, and challenged that they were searching for God, they were really keyed in. What an awesome opportunity.

But anyway, this leader wasn't familiar with Young Life, so I filled him in on the background, philosophy and methods of YL. He was excited. When I showed him the camp video it sealed the deal. Oh yeah. Then he was excited to see a group of wild students listening intently to grown person talk to them about Jesus. And the coolest thing is who this guy is and has been. He's a 28 year old African American who was previously a hard street kind of guy and since he's come to Christ, he has a desire to walk beside kids and love them to Jesus. How cool is that? With our house getting sold and getting a new leader within a week I don't know if my heart can take much more excitement.

My in-laws are here for Thanksgiving. That's pretty cool. We're having a good time. Last night I cleaned out my wife, my father-in-law, and my bro-in-law at poker. I think my dad-in-law thinks I gamble a lot now. Oh well. If I did I hope I could win like that. Probably not. I won't try to find out.

We have a staff meeting soon, then I have class, then it's off to paint ball and C'ville.

A blessing on all my readers. May God enter your home and hearts this Thanksgiving and fill your life with the joy of gratitude.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

our house

Amy and I decided to start trying to sell our house last fall. It has only been showed like five or six times. Today we accepted an offer on it where we will break even. That's all we needed to move.
So, it looks like, if everything goes okay, we will be living in Caruthersville by December 28.
We're really stoked. We have really fallen in love with the kids and the town of Caruthersville. This gives the opportunity to more available for them. Besides that it should give us a little more free time together as a family, since I don't have to drive a forty-five minute round trip to visit the school where I'm Young Life-ing.
We've prayed so hard and felt so discouraged about this whole selling the house thing, that it feels great to even be this close.
Please pray that the closing would go off without a hitch, and that we'd be able to find a place to live in when we leave this house.

Isn't this adventure of following Jesus stuff awesome??!!

Spanish test

So, I realized this morning that I have a Spanish test today. Jeez, I should have studied more. Oh well. I guess I'll probably still get a good grade. Then during our usual Lab period the class is all going to a Mexican restaurant to eat and order in Spanish. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Since I realize now that people in Caruthersville are reading this blog I want to say a bit about the community.

I've been doing YL in Cville for about one and a half years. I have to know the community quite a bit. I know about 250 kids at CHS by name. And probably the whole school knows me. I'm around when not many adults are around hanging out with the kids. I've seen what high school kids in Cville do when no one's watching. And what I haven't seen I hear about. I see that there's still a lot of pain involved in growing up. I recognize that it doesn't make a huge difference where a kid is growing up; the same basic things torment all high school kids. Parents getting divorced, girlfriend/boyfriend troubles, pressure toward drugs/alcohol, materialism, try-outs, etc. And almost every kid recognizes what they need. They need adults who are willing to be friends with them without any conditions. They need adults who will love them without trying to get anything in return. So many teens are abused, marketed to, and pressured by adults that all they want is adult friends.
During my stay in Caruthersville I have come to love the school. I can't think of a single kid at CHS that I wouldn't like to get to know better. My heart aches with the kids when things go wrong. My emotions soar when I see things go right and see kids succeed. I long to see more of my high school friends walk in an everyday relationship with Jesus.
And there I am on campus. A representative of Jesus Christ, walking the halls of CHS. I don't have to show kids my credentials. I don't wear an ordination certificate on my shirt. Because they know I love them. That is my credential to get into their lives. Never once has a kid asked me what kind of degree I had, how much money I make, or where I was educated. They care that I care, and they feel like so few adults really care.
So I pray daily for the kids at CHS. I pray by name for the kids I know, and I pray that God would allow me to enter lives of even more kids.
Things are messy when you're spending most of your time hanging out with kids who don't know God or don't act like they do. Kids curse, they fail, they reject me. But I know that Christ has endured far more of my rejection than I have ever endured. And He went on to die for my sake.

So when people ask me what I do this is what I'll tell them: I allow Jesus to love kids through me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


What is the nature of the relationship between a minister and the people to whom he/she ministers?
Lately I have been challenged and confronted with my inaction sometimes on using the influence I have with kids.
I know that this is an area where I am weak and need to grow.

Right now I'm thinking of something Nouwen said in In The Name of Jesus. He pointed out that in western thought we tend to like to dichotomize our world. We separate the minister from the ministered as a general rule. But, the truth be told, there is a great degree of ministry which happens mutually. As we are ministering in the lives of others, we are touched and changed.

My problem is with discipline or the lack thereof. I fail to hold kids accountable sometimes when I should. That the area in which I need most to grow.

So, I'm going to, with God's grace, begin to call kids to account. I'm going to begin to 'bring myself to bear' in the lives of the kids I love. I am not doing kids any favors when I don't call them to treat me like they would treat any other adult.


Today I'm nervous to blog.
But I will go on.
Now that I know/realize that my blog is known in my local community I plan to use it as a tool.

If I continue to write, I will write with the thought in mind that the people of my community want to know what's going on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My blog

It has come to my attention that my blog has become the preferred reading and conversation fodder for the community of Caruthersville. I regret that this is the case.

In starting a blog, I have always intended it to be a place for the airing of my thoughts for the perusal of various friends outside of Caruthersville. This has apparently not been the case.

One week ago I wrote a post on my blog which described our club meeting that night. I wrote out of frustration, and I wrote for myself and others who are not in the local community. Any extreme or hurtful language was out of frustration at the situation, and not anger toward any people or people group.

I sincerely apologize for any hurt feelings, and I recognize that I was out of bounds in posting these thoughts on a site that was open to the public.

Levi M. Hadley
aka Nomey