Category Archives: Alisa

J.B. McHose House

This Sunday the Youth Group from my church is having a fundraiser for our Mission Trip to Milwaukee. It is a two tiered fundraising effort.

When: Sunday 2-4 PM
Where: The Historic J.B. McHose House – 921 5th Street – Boone, IA

But what is it?

I’ll just steal Alisa’s description from Facebook:

Come take a tour of the beautiful, historic McHose House. While there check out and purchase some beautiful youth-made art. We will be selling cute mugs for a flat rate and having a silent auction for our canvases.

This is will be our last fundraiser before the Boone FUMC youth group heads off to Milwaukee, Wisconsin this summer on a week long mission.

This is an free-will offereing, open house event so feel free to come and go but I can’t promise the cookies will still be there at 4pm.

So you can tour the historic McHose House and pick up some high quality hand-crafted local art. On a canvas or on a mug. Win! Win!

Here are some of the canvases that could potentially be for sale:

Hopefully I’ll see a few or many of you there!

Can I Get Confirmation?

Last Sunday was Confirmation Sunday at the church. I wasn’t directly involved in the confirmation process, but my morning was filled with church activities.

As a member of the Methodist Men, I was there to help prepare the Confirmation Breakfast for the confirmands, their families, and their mentors. During a break in the action I ran up and fixed the network problems of our financial computer. During the church service I ran the PowerPoint portion of the worship. After the service, once again as a member of the Methodist Men, I helped serve treats and beverages as part of Fellowship.

However, what matters to this post is the PowerPoint part of my day. Since I was running PowerPoint, I was up in the balcony. I don’t normally take photographs during worship service, because the people around me consider it to be a distraction.

However, since I was in the balcony and since Alisa is in Haiti doing God’s work (similar to the time I went to fake Haiti, but with less time laying on the beach and bartering over hat prices I’m sure) I decided to snap a few photos, so she could see them on her return.

Anna’s Faith Statement

Mackenzie’s Faith Statement

I’d just like to say that the two confirmands that read their Personal Faith Statements to the congregation were VERY impressive! If I had a transcript of their words, I would’ve published both of them.

Jesus Eggs!

On the Saturday before Easter I was sitting in a darkened in theater in Ankeny experiencing the “tortures of the damned” that is watching BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, my phone buzzed. Since the movie picture had lost my interest moments into it, I felt no guilt in checking my text message. After all, I was probably already checking the score of the Oklahoma-Oregon game any ways.

The text message was from my church’s (the church I attend) Youth Minister Alisa wanting me to simultaneously run a photo booth and take pictures of our Sunday School Easter Egg Hunt.

You all know how I feel about multi-tasking.

So here are a few of the pictures almost exclusively from the Easter Egg Hunt.

But on the positive, If Easter was today, I could actually multi-task and run a photo booth and take pictures at the same time.


Sunday was my church’s annual block party to kickoff Sunday School. Once again, I manned the PET Obstacle course. Only this year it was more like a PET Area, with a couple of chairs thrown out there.

There were way more people there this year, so it was more than just me and one kid hanging out for two hours. So that was cool.

Some pictures.





Jentry Bustin’ a Move

This is what you do when the Methodist Men are cranking out the Lecrae Pandora Channel.

More Dance Moves

Alisa videoing Pastor Sarah

Pastor Sarah

Dick, My Partner in Crime

This was just a small part of a great weekend that included FNSC, lots of scraping, the Majors Family Reunion, and concluded with a 5 year old’s birthday party. Other than the lack of sleep, it was a pretty great weekend.

And it is like the old saying goes: You can sleep when your house is painted.

South Dakota

Probably past time I posted some pictures from the mission trip to South Dakota.

In reality I could tell a thousand stories about this trip and write a page about each picture, but I’ll hold back and be satisfied with a brief description of each picture. If you want to know more, chances are you know where to find me.

I will point out that they split our group into 4 separate groups. Because of that I don’t have pictures of some of the kids and lots of pictures of the kids in my group (TEAM INVASION!).

Also, these are phone pictures. Sorry about the quality.

Sunset, the first night in Martin, South Dakota.

Part of Monday night’s activity. A photo scavenger hunt. That Boone FUMC won!

Another scavenger hunt photo.

Another scavenger hunt photo.

Not part of the scavenger hunt, but part of the scavenger hunt journey.

What is the hand holding?

How many Martin residents died in WWII? Summer and Pastor Sarah show the answer.

The local college.

Lots of spiders and snakes and other insects in Martin, South Dakota.

Ben (from Youthworks), MacKenzie and Sarah painting stucco. Which is the worst thing ever to paint.

Katelyn waiting for somebody (me) to hold the ladder.

Alex making a new friend (Willy).

Bennett High School, home for the week.

The view from the top of a hill overseeing a Lakota Pow Wow Ground.

The view from the top of a hill overseeing a Lakota Pow Wow Ground.

The blazing hot sun.

No sign of man for miles.

Learning a Lakota dance.

Lakota dance.

Lakota dance.

Jentry helping Andy study the Bible.

Sarah, MacKenzie, and Amber painting a picnic table at the Bennett County Nursing Home.

Alex scraping a picnic table.

Katelyn scraping a picnic table.

More Alex.

MacKenzie, Sarah, and Amber painting.

Alex painting a picnic table.

Katelyn painting a picnic table.

Amber and Sarah with puppies that kids brought out after we dropped them off after Kid’s Club.

Amber and Sarah with puppies that kids brought out after we dropped them off after Kid’s Club.

Sarah with a puppy.


Katelyn soaked after Kid’s Club Water Day.]

Sarah at Kid’s Club.

MacKenzie at Kid’s Club.

Amber at Kid’s Club.

Shelby (Youthworks) getting doused at Kid’s Club Water Day.

Alex getting a balloon smashed on his head at Kid’s Club Water Day.

Amber at Kid’s Club.

Eric, we will never forget you.

Amber making a deal. Jim got the worst end of the deal. He has to watch GOSSIP GIRL.

I often call the Youth Group Mission Trip the best free vacation ever! But truthfully, it is the week that I grow the most as a human being. In about every way imaginable.

365 Day Photo Challenge: 22-28

This week was a bit of challenge with the mission trip taking up 4 days of my week, but I still managed to get my pictures in, even if some of them might not make much sense to you as they relate to theme.

Day 22: Grey
Day 22: Grey

Day 23: I Drew This!
Day 23: I Drew This!

Day 24: D is For...
Day 24: D is For…

Day 25: Ground
Day 25: Ground

Day 26: The Everyday
Day 26: The Everyday

Day 27: Black + White
Day 27: Black + White

Day 28: This is New!
Day 28: This is New!

Here is the list of the next 34 themes:

Day 29: Perspective
Day 30: Friendship
Day 31: Workspace
Day 32: Something Beginning with N
Day 33: Incomplete
Day 34: Skylone
Day 35: Fresh
Day 36: Early
Day 37: This Means a Lot to Me
Day 38: A Sign
Day 39: Peek-a-Boo
Day 40: 2 O’Clock
Day 41: Beverage
Day 42: I Love Doing This!
Day 43: Macro
Day 44: Fast
Day 45: Trash
Day 46: The Best
Day 47: Cooking
Day 48: Exercise
Day 49: Someone You Spoke to Today
Day 50: Lost
Day 51: Stairs
Day 52: Slow
Day 53: A Room
Day 54: Yellow
Day 55: In the Background
Day 56: Culture
Day 57: Entrance
Day 58: 10 Minutes from Home
Day 59: Corridor
Day 60: Lucky
Day 61: Cluttered
Day 62 Dangerous

Looks like a pretty excellent list!

Kansas City Mission Trip

A few weeks back I was one of four lucky adults that got to chaperone my church’s youth group on a mission trip to Kansas City.  It was truly one of the best weekends of  the year for me and I sincerely hope that I get asked to chaperone a trip again in the future.

The Sunday after the mission trip I spoke before the congregation about my experience.  I was operating on about 45 minutes of sleep because the night before was Sara’s graduation party.  I got home at about 3 in the morning. I was also dogsitting Jupiter and any time I remotely dozed off he was waking me up for various reasons.

This is an approximation of the speech I gave to the congregation. Only it is better (I hope) because I’m not about to fall asleep.

The Kansas City Mission Trip was an amazing experience and there are two things I took out of the trip.

The first thing was perspective.  On Saturday night during our debriefing we watched a Nooma video that gave some extremely startling statistics:

It would cost 20 billion dollars to provide basic nutrition, heath care, and clean drinking water for the entire world.  20 billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, until you put it in perspective.  20 billion dollars is how much money Americans spend on ice cream every year.

1 billion people in this world survive on less than 1 dollar a day.

Did you eat this morning?  800 million people in the world won’t eat today. 300 million of those people are kids.  Every few seconds somebody dies of hunger.

1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Those are worldwide statistics and they are horrible, but here are a few statistics that hit a little bit closer to home.

In Kansas City on any given night there are 13,000 homeless people.  To put that in perspective, Boone is a town of about 13,000 people.  There is an entire town of  Boone in Kansas City every night that doesn’t have a home.

In Kansas City there are 350 beds for the homeless. To put that in perspective, on a good day, there are about 350 people here during this service worshiping.  So think about it this way, everybody in this church would have a place to sleep tonight, but everybody else in town would be looking for a place to sleep. Underneath a bridge. In an abandoned car. On a friend’s couch. If they are lucky.

Many of those people won’t find a place to sleep.  That is why when we worked at the Faith Hope Ministry on Saturday, many of the people were there to sleep. They were sleeping there during the day, because there wasn’t a safe place for them to sleep on the streets.

Here is another statistic about the homeless in Kansas City that breaks the heart.  The average age of a homeless person in Kansas City is 7 years old.

I can’t imagine what life would be like if I was 7 years old and homeless.  What was your greatest concern when you were 7 years old? Mine might have been missing the Duane and Floppy Show. It wasn’t where I was going to sleep that night. It wasn’t when I was going to eat again.

Another part of the perspective I learned on this trip was extremely shallow.  I apologize for the shallowness of this observation.

I wouldn’t make it as a homeless person.  I just flat out wouldn’t.

I don’t look the way I do because of lack of exercise, although I’m sure that contributes, I like food.  I like good food.

I could not survive on the food that the homeless are thankful to have. Even the “good food” that was served at the Faith Hope Mission was tough to choke down.

Our final stop on Saturday night was at a Family Shelter. This shelter had been receiving food donations of expired food from an area Trader Joe’s.

This is perhaps my favorite memory from the trip.

One of our jobs was sorting the food that was too moldy to eat from the food that was moldy, but a person could eat it. The look on our youths face when Andrea handed them a package of strawberries that were covered in mold and told them it was edible… it was priceless.

The truth is that there were going to be people getting that food and those people would be THANKFUL to be getting it.


It is a reminder that everything we get is a gift from God.  Everything. That car that you are driving. Gift. That house you are living in. Gift. Those clothes on your back. Gift. That food in your belly. Gift. That air in your lungs. Gift.

The second thing I took from this trip is that this church has an awesome youth group.

I don’t pick the word awesome randomly and I don’t mean it the way most people use the word.  It is true that the members of the youth group are many of those things. They are cool. They are neat.

I mean awesome in the truest sense of the word: our youth group is awe inspiring.

The work they did was awe inspiring. The compassion they displayed was awe inspiring.

They inspired me to remember what it truly means to be a Christian. To serve others and always remember the questions: “What can I give? I have been blessed. Who am I going to bless? How can I be more generous? How can I step into my divine responsibility to give?”

I can report to this congregation that without a doubt that the Fair Stand will be in very good hands in 2035.

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

I just want to close this journal entry with two Bible verses that kind of sum up the way I think of the trip:

“Beware lest you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.” You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
-Deuteronomy 8:17-18

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, TO BE RICH IN GOOD DEEDS, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
-Timothy 6:17- 19

In particular this passage from Timothy is one of my favorites in the Bible. Along with Psalm 139 and Ephesians 4:29.

Editor’s Note: Since I wrote this blog, I have been asked to chaperone the mission trip to Minnesota next year.