Category Archives: Youth Group

You Can Sit With Us


As many of you may or not know, for the last several years I have helped chaperon my church’s Youth Group’s Mission Trip. We have went to Kansas City, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Martin, South Dakota.

Next June, the Youth Group will be going to Milwaukee and I will be going with them again.

It is one of my favorite weeks of the year because there is no other week of the year where I grow more as a person and as a christian. I often describe it as the best free vacation a person can go on.

The truth is while it is debatable whether or not it is a vacation (depends on what you enjoy… I enjoy hard work, Bible study, and working with kids… sleeping on the floor… maybe not so much) but it isn’t free.

It costs in excess of $500 per child to send these kids out into the world to do God’s work.

Therefore, the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group has began the earnest work of raising funds to cover the costs of their trip. Last Sunday they cooked and sold chili. Their next project is to sell shirts with a message of hope and acceptance.

I could describe the message of the shirt, but why come up with my own words when Pastor Sarah has already explained is so well:

It all started in High School Sunday School at Boone First United Methodist Church with a discussion about the need for kindness in this world. Even small acts of kindness can have large effects on the people they touch. So the youth started to brainstorm ideas of how to make a difference around them. Part of the solution: a simple t-shirt that could invite people to know they are friendly, welcoming and inclusive. Help us make a bold statement with this Tshirt that bullying is “out” and kindness is “in.” Although the funds support the youth mission trip, we found this message to be important beyond age and church walls. Join us in creating a movement to show ways we can be nice to others in every aspect of our lives, including the clothes we choose.

Here is a look at the shirt.



You are probably thinking, “Wow! What an amazing shirt! How much does one cost!”

A Unisex shirt is $19.99
A Ladies shirt is $21.99
A Long Sleeve shirt is $24.99
A Hooded Sweatshirt is $39.99

There are two ways to order. The easiest is just to follow the link below and order the shirt yourself:


Another way would be to give me your order and I’ll get it placed. The advantage to that is that it will save you $5 shipping. The deadline to order is December 20th.

Thanks for your consideration!

Might as well share a few of my favorite mission trip photos from over the years:

That should just about cover it.


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.

Phonetos – Vol. 1

Although I haven’t touched the real camera lately, I have sorta documented some stuff with my cruddy camera on my phone. Thought I would post some of those from the last few months. Remember, these are taken with a cruddy camera phone.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen many of these. Feel free to carry on.

Best donuts. Ever.

Our waiter at Pig Ate My Pizza. Carrying Naima’s favorite toy.

This was apropos of that weekend. I love John Cusack.

Iowa State Relay for Life

Such a great game!

Naima had Willy protect her while we watched the ISU-Oklahoma game.

I still don’t think they’ve done anything about this building.

Dre’s Birthday. Watching a little March Madness.

Layla’s Melancholy Lion.

Network Engineering Night at Welch Ave.



First birthday party I’ve been to that was on the grounds of a federal prison.


New love. Rico’s Tacos.

ISU Spring Game.

Confirmation Sunday with my Confirmation Mentee Mitchell.

Derek. Winner of this year’s Roundball Oracles.

Uncola at the Otho Pub.

Carla’s Art.

Logan really enjoyed his first Adobe experience.

Jim. The last night of bowling. Ever.

Dinner with a member of the Illuminati.

Miss May.

Bulletin from Pastor Sarah’s amazing Superhero Sermon Series.

The wall from the Citywide Youth Group.

More soonish…

Instagram: July & August

Time once again to look at some of my favorite Instagram work from the last couple of months.

Of course, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you have seen all of these before. Just act like you are surprised.

I’m pretty excited by how far I got to expand my photo map in the last two months.


I can’t wait to see where life takes me in in September and October.


You can follow me on Instagram: @photography139

2013 Mission Trip

A couple weeks back I went with my church’s youth group to Kansas City on their annual mission trip. Here is the video I put together to show the congregation on Sunday:

Of course, if you subscribe to this blog via RSS Feed or email, you will actually have to go to the website to view the video.

We weren’t allowed to take cameras on the trip, but our facilitator Joe (an Iowa State Man) took several pictures for us. I also was able to snap a few with my phone.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

Jake showing off the meal we prepared on Thursday Night.

Our spaghetti feast. We had a communication breakdown with Urban Plunge and didn’t realize that we were responsible for the meal on Thursday night. Thankfully, Jim Jordan donate $40 for the trip that we were able to use to buy and create a perfectly edible spaghetti feast.

Ryan, Shawn, Joe, and Gabe in line for food.

Curtis assigning us work to do.

Moving mattresses to the attic.

Corbin and C.J. moving a trunk.

Corbin, Shawn, Ryan and I moving a exam table.

Sarah and Alisa




Emily C.

Amber and her injured fingers.

Emily C., Grace, and Maddie serving breakfast/

Sarah and Jordan prepping lunch.

Corbin and Carter doing dishes.

Paige and Emily W. sorting clothes.

Gabe and C.J. doing dishes.

Hope/Faith Commons Area

On the stairs to the Game Room at Hope/Faith.

Getting instructions on how to bag flour.

Sarah cutting open a 25 lb bag of flour.

Jordan and Maddie bagging flour.

Corbin and Carter bagging flour.

Jake and Grant bagging flour.

Amber sweeping up four.

Sarah and Emily C. outside of Harvesters.

Group photo outside of Harvesters.

Prayer Walk

Some Hope/Faith Statistics

Amber and Sarah



Emily W.

Pastor Sarah


Shawn, Carter, and I breaking rock.

C.J., Jake, and Gabe cleaning glue out of a tub.

Gabe, Jake, and C.J. cleaning glue out of a tub.

Grant pulling weeds.

Grace and Maddie working with neighborhood kids.

Paige working with neighborhood kids.

Katelyn waiting to break up more rock.

Ryan and Shawn goofing around.

Emily W., Katelyn, Shawn, Ryan, C.J., Gabe, Corbin, and I loading the truck up with rock.

Grant and Amber

Emily C., Amber, and Sarah posing with neighborhood kids.

Carter and Paige taking a break.

Paige and Alisa having their hair braided.

Group Prayer

Emily C. and Ryan vacuuming the floor.

Corbin and Carter cleaning the boys room.

Gabe and C.J. playing “interrogation”.

Grant preparing to cut down vines.

Gabe and Katelyn weed “whacking”.

Paige cleaning a mirror.

Shwan, Alisa, Jake, Nancy, and Pastor Sarah putting cots together.

Ryan and I doing something I don’t wish to discuss.

Grace nursing Pastor Sarah’s head injury.

Basketball Break

Jake with the board.


Paige, Jordan, Maddie, and Grace showing some of the kids at the shelter some dance moves.

Group Prayer

Grace, Maddie, Gabe, and Ryan enjoying breakfast at homeless shelter.

Sarah defying the laws of physics.

Group Photo

Katelyn, Emily C., Grace, and Maddie on The Viking.

Paige and Alisa were very impressed by “bro-tanks”.

Paige enjoyed The Boomerang. Alisa did not.

Emily C. with the bear she won.

All in all, the pictures don’t really do the experience justice. I have many stories to tell about this trip. It was one incredible experience after another.

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!

Instagram Dump – March/April

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen all these images.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen all these images.
If you are my Friend on Foursquare, you’ve seen most of these images.
If you are my “Friend” on Facebook, you’ve seen some of these images.
If you are my Contact on Flickr, you’ve seen some of these images.
If you follow me on Tumblr, you’ve seen a few of these images.

These are Instagram images from March and April:

This picture legitimately freaks me out.

A Brave New World

I can’t wait to see what I did in May and June!

Personal Photo Project #166


I recently had the honor of helping chaperon a youth group retreat for my church. One of the last activities was a worship service where the youth went through several stations. One of the most powerful stations was a crude cross made from two logs found in the woods and held together with duct tape. Each youth was to write down something in life that they are struggling with and would like to give up to God on a piece of paper. Then they were to nail that piece of paper to the cross.

More from the Nailed Series:

















It was a pretty amazing weekend. Makes me look forward to this Summer’s mission trip even more.