Cedarbrook Church Ignite Winter Retreat Round-Up

This weekend I had the opportunity to speak for the Cedarbrook Church student winter retreat. The topic of the weekend was "Weird Like Jesus." We looked in the Bible at how following Jesus with all our hearts may make us look weird in the eyes of the world, but how important it is to value God's opinion of us over people's. Specifically we looked at the areas of sex, material possessions and the purpose of life.

One highlight of the trip was spending the weekend with my friend Kyle. He and I have been friends for over twenty years. Kyle has been a pastor at Cedarbrook Church for six years and it is awesome to watch him interact with the leaders and students on this trip. Ignite, the youth ministry here, is strong and growing thanks to God's grace and the leadership Kyle has shown. Everyone says that it is obvious why Kyle and I get along so well, we're a lot alike. I am grateful to have a friend like him, and to have a chance to use my gifts serving Jesus and the youth ministry of Cedarbrook.

The even bigger highlight than spending time with Kyle was spending time with my thirteen year old Jacob. He was a bit hesitant about leaving his friends in Northfield to spend the weekend with strangers, but by the end of the trip he had an absolute blast. Friday night he was a little reserved, but he started cracking out of his shell before bed. Then all day Saturday he became increasing plugged in with some of the kids here. I think there were even a few girls who had a little crush on him. He had such a fun time on Saturday that he ditched me and left me sleeping alone in the speaker's cabin so that he could spend the night in the boys' dorm with his new buddies. 

I was so blessed to have Jake here with me as I shared and served. Watching him play and worship and connect and listen to me preach is something I will hold on to forever. I am so happy about the man he is becoming. 

A summarized version of highlights from the weekend would include...
- Buffalo Wild Wings on the way to camp
- Cherry Berry with Jake
- Mattress Races
- GaGa Ball in the snowy pit
- The Bacon room
- Underwear Sumo (I beat Kyle!)
- Telephone Charades (Never Pee Into the Wind)
- Slap Jack
- Dance Party!
- Lots of snack and Starbucks