Category: high school

Seriously.  I think Newell/ Fonda should do this with their buses.  We already have the Macs in the high school and now down through the 5th grade next year.  Why not take the leap and put wifi on the school buses too?  It seems like it works for this Arizona school;

Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).

But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops.

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-technology experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

“It’s made a big difference,” said bus driver J.J. Johnson. “Boys aren’t hitting each other, girls are busy and there’s not so much jumping around.

Why not?


When I was in high school our youth group loved to prank each other.  We even made a sport out of it for the most part.  We tried to be civil about it but like most pranks sometimes it went too far.  There was this girl in our youth group – Stephanie.  Stephanie had never had her house pranked becuase she lived 20-30 minutes away from town.  Stephanie made it a point to brag about it – somewhat often.  What Stephanie didn’t know is that one night after choir practice I pulled her dad aside and explained the situation to him and asked if we could TP their house.  I was fully expecting to hear him say, “Are you kidding?  No way.”  Instead he looked at me with a little smirk and said, “Sure thing.”  So we talked about details and he even volunteered to keep the dogs tied up that night so they wouldn’t bark and wake Stephanie up.

So the night came (11 or so years ago).  It was a youth group outing and we went water skiing.  The funny thing was that I had the toilet paper in the trunk of my car that afternoon while we were water skiing and no one ever knew.  So nightfall came and we went back to town to give the illusion that nothing was up.  We were camping out that night because I was going to college the coming weekend so this would be my last prank while I was in town – also it gave no way for her to get me back anytime soon.

So at 12:30am 6 or 7 of us made the drive out to Oakville, IA to TP Stephanie’s house.  It took us well over an hour to do it.  We unloaded 500 rolls on her house that night.  She has more pics on her blog.  Go over and check them out.  So why post these pictures now and talk about it?  Because Stephanies families house was destroyed this summer in the flood of 2008.  Oakville (from what I hear) is pretty much a total loss.  As a youth group we had some great times at their house swimming their pool, riding 4 wheelers and having some outings there.  I won’t forget the Stoller’s farm and neither will they.

We are concluding our series Sine Like Stars in our student ministry tomorrow night.  I am really looking forward to and what God has been doing in the lives of our students.  It has been a great series.  I think it’s one of the better ones I have done as of yet.  We have been talking about how we can shine like stars in the universe if we allow God to work in us.  Here’s a rundown of the 3 weeks;

  • Week 1 –  Shine Like Stars: We encouraged the students to follow Christ – Philippians 2:12-18
  • Week 2 – How We Can Shine Like Stars: We went more in depth in the passage from Philippians 2:12-18
  • Week 2 – Shining in Grace: We used Brian “Head” Welch’s testimony on video and talked about how we can shine like stars in God’s grace – Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Week 4 – Shining through Faith – Hebrews 11

Last week the students were so focussed on listening to the CNN interview of Brian giving his testimony.  The growth of the students over the last month even has been a lot of fun to watch.  Our leaders are even stepping up and talking to students about their faith now.  It has been a  great thing to watch.

Most of my friends and a lot of the kids at school new I was a Christian.  My sophomore year I started taking it alot more seriously though.  Yeah I made some mistakes up until this point but things were starting to be different.  Most of the guys I hung out with weren’t Christians so it odd sometimes but we got along extremely well.  There were about 6 of us that always ran around together.  They knew I was serious about my faith and they were alright with it.  In fact we talked about it sometimes.  One day at lunch I was praying.  This was something I had just started doing a few days earlier.  I wouldn’t do it out loud just silently.  One day I looked up and one of the guys was mocking me out loud.  I asked him why and he just made fun of me.  Then something happened that I can’t explain.  My friend Ryan looked at him and said, “Man if you’re going to be jerk just leave.”  Then there was this awkward silence.  Then my friend Chad.  Then Shon.  One by one they were all saying the same thing.  So he got ticked and left.  When he was gone I asked them why they did that for me and they told me that while they didn’t believe what I did they respected me as a friend for taking a stand for something like that.

It blew me away and I learned a great lesson that day.   Suddenly talking about my faith became easier.  Most of the time they eve initiated the conversations.  It was really different for awhile.

A few days later my friend Shon came in at sat down at the table and slammed his tray down.  That grabbed my attention pretty quick.  I asked him what was wrong and he told me nothing was wrong.  So I said, “Oh you just slam your tray down over nothing?”   What happened next was awkward.  This was the conversation:

Shon: “What are you doing Sunday?”

Me: “I can’t play basketball until after church.  I’ve told you guys before.”

Shon: “No what are you doing Sunday?”

Me: “I just told you.”

Shon: ” No.  What are you doing Sunday?”

Me: “Ummm.  I guess I don’t know.  Why don’t you tell me what I’m doing Sunday or tell me what is going on?”

Shon: “I’m taking you to church…that’s what’s going on.”

Me: “What??  Are you serious?”

Shon: “I will pick you up at 8 so we can go to breakfast first.  I’m buying.”

Me: “Ok.  What’s the catch?”

Shon: “Nothing.  See you then.”

I couldn’t believe what just happened.  I just kept thinking, “Isn’t this supposed to be the other way around?”  Talk about odd things happening all of a sudden.  God was clearly at work in the lives of some of my friends and I was too slow to notice he was working in some odd ways.

I know some of you are reading and may have gotten turned off by this post.  Trust me it gets weirder and you won’t want to miss anything.  If you’ve like what you have read here you can read the first 5 installments by clicking on one of the links below.

We are currently doing a survey of the Mormon religion in our high school Sunday school class.  This was our second week and the students are really enjoying it.  Why are we studying the Mormons?  Our students wanted to.  Some of them have some Mormon friends and want to learn how to witness to them so I agreed to take them through the material I have.

I am not an expert on the Mormon religion but I did grow up 18 miles away from Nauvoo, IL where they had one of their largest homesteads.  I have been through Nauvoo many times and have taken the tour of the Mormon village down there.  I have some friends back in Iowa that are Mormons.  I have taken a seminar on the Mormon religion.  My dad drove for Trailways for 7 years and spent a lot of time taking the Mormons on different parts of their trek from New York to Salt Lake City and a few times he even spent a 21 days charter with them going from New to Salt Lake City.  I am not an expert however I feel like I know quite a bit about their beliefs because of the exposure I have had with them.   I will post some different upates about our class here.  It will definitely be interesting.

This week we compared Mormonism to Christianity and pointed out some major and significant differences.  The kids were into it asking a ton of great questions.  This will be a great way (I think) to really get them grounded on some basic Christian doctrinal foundations.  I’m looking forward to the next few months with them


finally…here it is


So I was asked by the church I grew up at to make a video of where I am at now. I have the youth portion of it done and YouTube is taking forever to post it to my blog tonight. I’m excited about it. The quality is a little fuzzy online but on DVD it’s super clear and rocks. Now all I have to do is finish my part put it on DVD and mail it off to them. Too much fun.


(since YouTube has taken so long the link for the video is here)

I have been asked by the church I grew up in if I would make a video and send it to them so it can be played for their capital campaign program in a few weeks. I agreed and it sounds like fun. So last night I turned loose our video camera and my new digital camera I got for Christmas. We got some great footage and pictures. I will be editing video today and I will try to get something up on YouTube so I can post it on my blog. Really good stuff.


I was approached about a month ago by someone who wanted to give us a sum of money to buy a new pin pong table and new air hockey tables. So after some searching I found the tables that would last the longest. The tables we purchased are pictured above. They came in while I was back in Iowa for Christmas vacation so I assembled them when I came back. The tables look great and the kids love them.

Ministry is always full of surprises.


Tonight we took our students who are in Life Hurts (all 22 of them) to one of our local stores and did some Christmas shopping for some underprivileged kids. Between the 22 kids they brought in $150 to spend on 4 kids. Our student ministry also kicked in some more to help provide these kids with a Christmas they won’t forget.

It was pretty cool to see some needy kids buying gifts for other needy kids. There’s just something really cool about that. Next Tuesday night we will be taking our gifts to the families homes and sharing the gospel with them. I love this time of year.