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Last week I mentioned in a post that I had some exciting things going on and wanted to share – I also said I would do so in the next couple days and never did – my weekend ended up getting a lil more full than I thought it would (but hey part of that was getting a chance to play some sand v-ball for about 4-4.5 hours on Saturday – AWESOME).
So here is the deal – as I’ve been doing some evaluation of my life and ministry and looking toward the future – I’ve started to notice some patterns. For whatever reason God has allowed me to have a real desire & passion to minister to the college age and those heading into college.
I grew up on a college campus for 25 years – attended that school – Mid-Atlantic Christian University – then worked there for 3 full years. After that I made a transition to work in a Campus Ministry with Campus Christian Fellowship at NC State University for 7 more years. So for the last 15 years I have been either IN COLLEGE or WORKING WITH College Students.
I decided that maybe God had allowed me some insight into how to better prepare students moving from the High School age into the College Age time frame of their lives. So this summer I am leading a group called “BE PREPARED” for our Christ’s Church @ Cobb High School students and parents. The idea is to better help them prepare FOR THOSE TRANSITIONAL YEARS – BEFORE they ever get there. Last week was our first session together.
I took the idea of “BE PREPARED” from a website that I am using as some of my resource material. You can find out more about this resource at LIVEABOVE.COM. I highly encourage any youth, parent, or people working with this age to check out this site. It has some very eye-opening videos and information about the dangers of this time of life & students falling away from the faith. It also gives some good resources & tools to prepare for this time. There are also things like tools to help find campus ministries where you are heading and finding possible Christian roommates etc. There is also another great website which is for the NACCM (National Association of Christian Campus Ministries) – this was the National Organization of the Campus Ministries for which I worked with. They have good info and contact for local ministries as well – so check them out!
So that’s the plan this summer – to have an exciting – open format time with the students and families to help “BE PREPARED” for those College Years and walking more strongly in their FAITH! We are doing this in 4 sessions – the first was for parents and students to kick off the whole deal and to set the stage for the following weeks. Then the 2nd week will be a time fore me to sit and talk just with the students and field questions and talk about things that they may not ask in front of their parents. Then the 3rd week will be a time to sit down with just the parents and talk about stuff that they may not know how to handle with the students. Then the final week we will all come back together and have a time to sort of put a “plan of action” together and keep the lines of communication open between the parents and students.
I am excited to see what comes of all of this and definitely hope and pray that the Lord guides and challenges us all through this. I hope that it will impact all of their lives in a very positive manner.
If you have any feedback or ideas you would like to give – or if you want any further information about what is going on with this – please drop me a comment and ask any questions you may have. I’d love to help in any way that I can!
Okay so there won’t be any trains (or at least no plans for any yet) but I will be taking a plane & then an automobile on a lil journey this weekend.
I am rolling out early in the AM to catch a flight outta the ATL to the RDU – this will be my first time flying “stand-by” so we will see how this works out. Hopefully I’ll get in sometime during the afternoon. Then when a friend gets off work we are loading up his ride and heading North. A good friend and a former student of mine @ NC State that was a leader in our Campus Ministry is getting married in New York. So we are heading out sometime tomorrow evening to head to Richmond, VA to spend the night with some friends and cut down some of our trip on Friday.
Friday AM we will head out on the approx. 8 hour drive to Liverpool, NY where the wedding will be taking place. Always pumped to get to visit somewhere that I’ve never been before. Not to mention I get the great opportunity to see some great friends I haven’t seen in a while!
Then we will pull the long drive back on Sunday and I’ll hang in Raleigh that night to turn around and catch a flight out on Monday sometime to get back to Atlanta. I’m sure it will all be a whirlwind, but good times will certainly be had by all. I’m also sure I’ll have some sort of crazy stories to share with ya when I get back – or maybe if you’re lucky (ooo I don’t like that word – let’s say fortunate) I’ll send ya some “mobile blog love” while I’m on the road!
So here’s to everyone enjoying their wonderful 4th of July weekend – Congrats Chris & Beth on the big Wedding Day and best wishes to them and the Hall & Evans’ families! I am looking forward to seeing awesome things from this young couple in the years to come!
Today I bring to you a gift – that’s right a gift for each one of you on this day – May 29th, 2009 – My Birthday – but for each of you a gift. This gift is a list of 33 random things about me @ 33 years of age. (Obviously this isn’t original to me – I have some other friends that have done this sort of thing and I thought it was cool). So bear with me on the length of this post – but if you dig through it all I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you will find some things you might have never known about me. And just a heads up – I didn’t even throw in the most obvious fact about my “Shakyhands Syndrome” of which I have no answer for!
So here they are – in no real particular order – well except for the first few, which are about the most important things to me!
1) I believe that Jesus IS the Christ (Messiah, Annointed One) and He IS the Son of the living God and I have taken Him as my Lord (leader & guide of my life) and Savior (the only one that can forgive my sins and save me to spend FOREVER with Him in Heaven)!!!
I don’t always do a good job of living as though He is Lord in my life, and definitely am more willing to accept the Savior part – but I’m gonna keep striving to do better in the first area.
2) I LOVE my parents – (Phil Alligood & Ora Jane Alligood) and I know that I don’t do a very good job of showing/telling them that as I probably should. I am very grateful for their influence and guidance in my life and being tremendous examples of godly people, parents, and ministers to others. They are by no means perfect, but are true role models of truth & love as well as diligence in work and being sacrificial servants and great stewards of God’s resources. I could never thank them enough for all they have blessed my life and upbringing with – first above and beyond all others in showing me the Love of Christ and introducing me into that saving relationship with Jesus.
3) I love my sister and her family and feel very fortunate to spend this season of my life with them ministering alongside of them in this area outside of Atlanta. We were not always that close growing up (not that we didn’t get along – typical brother – sister stuff), but we do get closer I think as the years go on.
4) My cousin Tara and I probably have a closer relationship than most siblings. We have always been “joined at the hip” since we were little and will probably always share a special connection. Many people believe we are the male/female version of one another. I would and will always be willing to do anything for her.
5) I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up with the rest of the “RBC STAFF KIDS” – now known as Mid Atlantic Christian University Staff Kids I guess! Neal, Lisa, Tara, Eric, Kevin, Travis, Stephanie, Chris, Michael, Marcus, and Megan were quite the CREW! Tara, Eric, Kevin, and Travis will forever be like extra brothers & sister to me.
6) I am not married, but contrary to popular belief, I can say that I desire at some point (now more than any other time up till now) to be married – the jury is still out on whether or not to have a family, but if I am being TOTALLY honest, I think I would make a great dad (not perfect – but ready to do a really good job) — Maybe I can start an online video version of the Bachelor starring “yours truly” – I bet that would get CRAZY RATINGS!
7) I have been an usher or groomsman in 13 weddings (I’m actually gunning for the opportunity to star in my own movie called “27 Tuxedos” ha ha ha) and I have performed 7 weddings – even actually done pre-marital counseling for some couples – how crazy is that right??
8] Kim Moulden is one of my all-time GREATEST friends – she has always been someone I enjoy hanging out with and taking “road trips” with – she is a real encourager to me and I know we will always be friends no matter how much time/distance separates us. Oh for the memories of the NC State Fair!
9) Connie Gibbs and I will FOREVER be “in a relationship” (HA HA HA HA HA – all my CCF facebook friends may know what that is about!) and yes I do LOVE her!!!
10) I will always have a special place in my heart for Campus Ministry – no matter what ministry doors God opens for me in other arenas – and I will always cherish those 7 years I spent in Raleigh! Working with Campus Christian Fellowship @ NCSU was a tremendous experience and blessing in my life!
11) I will always have a special place in my heart for Mid-Atlantic Christian University – (Formerly known as Roanoke Bible College) – it was a VITAL part of shaping who I have become and am becoming. I look forward to the exciting days ahead and a partnership for future years.
12) I have worked in Summer Church camps since I was just a teenager – for a few summers I worked 3 different High School weeks in 3 different camps. I have done everything from camp nurse, to mail call guy, to evening worship speaker, to dorm dad, to team leader, to activities director, to dean, to rec director, to campfire speaker, to kitchen staff, to missions speaker – I think about the only 2 things I have NOT done is lifeguard and done Worship band leading (we are ALL thankful for that)
13) I really love to travel – I have been able to travel to a good number of places all over the United States and some international travel as well to Haiti, Venezuela (4 times), and India – and do expect that list to continue to grow.
14) I LOVE sports in general but my favorite to watch would be basketball, more specifically college basketball – my favorite to play would be volleyball – indoor or outdoor, but indoor is my preference.
15) I LOVE the North Carolina Tar Heels – most especially men’s basketball, but pretty much all things Tar Heels! I have a goal to one year spend my Thanksgiving out in Hawaii watching my beloved UNC Tar Heels play in the Maui Classic.
16) I have another sports goal; to go out west at some point and spend a week in California visiting every Major League Baseball stadium and watching as many games in one week as possible!
17) I LOVE to preach/speak at events – and feel like it is a Gift that God has given me to use to bring him Honor & Glory and to challenge people. It is something I get really passionate about and feel like I do a pretty good job of doing well when I get the opportunity.
18) It is one of my goals this year to enroll in a “Stand Up Comedy” class and learn some finer details of comedy, and hopefully open some doors – this is something I’ve always had an interest in attempting.
19) I was on and episode of “The Price Is Right” back in 1999 and actually got called down to “Contestants Row” to bid on an item – I didn’t win.
20) A few years ago I randomly signed up for the show “Survivor” just sort of goofing around with a friend – then ended up getting called back and making it to the final 800 people. The next round would have been for 48 to be chosen to try out in CALIFORNIA – man that would have been awesome, but I didn’t make it.
21) In middle school I played basketball for a small private Christian school – on a high school team – the first 3 pointer I ever hit was at the buzzer against our arch rivals to send the game into overtime – we ended up losing in triple overtime, but was still a pretty cool moment.
22) I coached a basketball team for the small Christian College that I graduated from (Mid Atlantic Christian University) and during my first year we played in a tournament in Philadelphia, PA against some “way out of our league” competition – we lost the first game by 75 points and the game the next day by 97 points – not one of my more enjoyable weekends.
23) I blew out my knee back in 1999 playing pick-up basketball and finished tearing it up playing volleyball a couple months later. Never had surgery but the doctor feels pretty certain at some point I will need to do that – ending my streak of never having any sort of surgery to this point in my life.
24) The friends of mine back in Raleigh – will always remain very near and dear to me as the first group of people I really got to know as I branched out in life and moved away from where I had been for 25 years – it was my first venture into being totally “on my own” and I will always be thankful for God placing them in my life!
25) I really do miss my Orange Xterra (not so much the car payment or lower gas mileage) and would one day like to be back in some sort of an SUV. I really like the color Orange, but will probably tell you my favorite color is Blue
26) In my freshman year of college on Fall Break I ended up in the hospital with a Kidney Stone – the only bout I’ve ever had with them (and hopefully the only one I EVER have)
27) I definitely would much prefer living at the beach than living in the mountains – would prefer living in the big city as opposed to living in the country – am pretty certain I will always be content at wherever God leads me to live, but these would definitely be my preferences. I enjoy warmer weather way more than colder weather.
28) Growing up I had a best friend named J.J. – I always thought it was cool to have “Initials” for a name and wanted to have that too. Guess I sort of got my wish when working at RBC/MACU and President Griffin referred to me as NOA (pronounced Noah) – J.J.’s birthday was on May 27th so it was cool that we were born 2 days apart and celebrated some birthdays together.
29) For someone that has not had any type of Math class since High School – have a great mind for math and numbers – I can do lots of math in my head and figure numbers quickly (not like Rain Man counting toothpicks on the floor type stuff – but some pretty goofy stuff) I enjoy numbers and statistic type stuff.
30) I have NEVER taken any course whatsoever in any sort of foreign language (had a study hall during a French class in High School but that doesn’t count) but have always thought I should probably learn a foreign language – maybe I should give those “Rosetta Stone” videos a shot??
31) I would say I have “Loved and Lost” and am not so certain that it really is better than “to have never loved at all” – well I guess it is, but sometimes I’m not so sure, but it’s a catchy saying so I’ll stick with it!
32) #34 was one of my favorite numbers for sports – it is the # I wore in college for basketball – I loved Nolan Ryan and he wore #34, George Lynch @ UNC wore #34 and was one of my all-time favorites.
33) Larry Bird is one of the most famous Athletes to ever wear the # 33 – but I hated Larry Bird – I do admit he was a TREMENDOUS player, but was one of those I loved to hate, no real explanation but that’s the great thing about sports – there doesn’t have to be a legit reason!
And that’s it people – hope you enjoyed your lovely gift – now it’s OVER & OUT from the DIRTY SOUTH!
Every year I keep up with all sorts of paper work and documents about my banking and financial ventures to do as most of us do – combine it all into a report to send into the government for them to then tell me how much money they will take from me. As much as I hate this process, there is also a part of it which I find a little bit enjoyable.
You see I am a pretty detail oriented person and keep up with WAY too much paper work as well as documentation, so I will always have proof of something when needed. After a number of years of this – I ended up with all sorts of little file folders, crammed to the max with all my financial documents each year. Finally I found out from my tax person that I really only needed to keep the most recent 5 years worth of documentation and receipts, etc. I could throw the rest out but just hold onto my actual tax preparation documentation for older years. This was going to allow me to get rid of TONS of clutter.
So that year I sat down and got rid of all those past years, and narrowed it down to the most recent five years. I was doing some SERIOUS document shredding during those days. It took a while but I finally got it all compiled down to ONE BOX of file folders. It was pretty sweet. Now each year I have this little “right of passage” time into the next year, by taking the most recent years documents and putting it into the oldest file folder and getting rid of that years information.
For Example – this past year I did my 2008 taxes – so I bundle all the info up with my tax preparation report and go back to the file folder from 2003 – I then remove all the old info and trash it – but keep my tax preparation report from 2003 to hold onto. Then each year the cycle continues. This could just be a simple process and take only a few minutes, but I like to stop and look back through some of the stuff from 5 years ago and it helps remind me – where I was, what I was doing, and some highlights/milestones of my life from 5 years back. This can be an exciting, refreshing, humbling, and challenging experience.
Normally I do this near the start of the new year when I am wrapping up all the paperwork from the previous year to prepare my tax report. This year took a lot longer than I had planned, but today I am finally getting around to the “BIG SWITCH”. So today I am glancing back over stuff from 2003.
2003 was a pretty big year for me – and as the title of this post indicates it is sort of a me taking a STROLL CIRCLE down memory SPARTA LANE. You see 2003 was the first year that I was TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY living in Raleigh and working ONLY with Campus Christian Fellowship at NC State University. I had moved to Raleigh to begin my ministry there in July of 2001, but continued a part time role working back in Elizabeth City working with Mid-Atlantic Christian University (formerly Roanoke Bible College) – I kept up that role through the 01-02 School year. This was an extremely hectic year as I drove back and forth and worked at both places, but it was something I felt I needed to do and something that I did enjoy. So I only lived and worked in Raleigh FULL-TIME from about May 2002 on – this meant that 2003 was my first ENTIRE CALENDAR year there in Raleigh.
During this year I also moved living situations 3 different times. I moved from my first apartment in Apex, NC in with my life-long friend Kevin who had a home @ 108 Sparta Lane there in Apex (only about 5 min from my apt.) – I moved in about February of 2003 and lived there till I took another MAJOR STEP in life and purchased my first home. I bought a townhouse in Fuquay Varina, NC in August of 2003, it was located and 1928 STROLL CIRCLE (thus the reference for the title of this post).
These were definitely exciting times. You see I also had navigating our campus ministry finding it’s first ever “Ministry Center” location and we moved in ALSO during July/August of 2003 – RIGHT BEFORE the school year began (man was that exhausting). It was also during these same months that I had my first ever INTERN come and work with our campus ministry there at NC State. My good friend Aaron moved to Raleigh after graduating from Mid-Atlantic Christian University and moved into my new home there in Fuquay – needless to say it was fun times.
So you see – this task of going through old paperwork and stupid financial files has truly turned into a time of reflection and reliving old memories for me. As much as I dread the reason that I’m filing all these papers, at least I am enjoying the memories that it brings flooding back.
Well enough distraction from my task at hand – let me get back to the job of “cleaning out”, but thanks for joining me on this little MENTAL JOG down MEMORY – actually I mean – SPARTA LANE!
So if I had to be honest my 60-60 challenge has not had the “full-steam” ahead that it did in the first few days to a week. It has gotten easier to sort of ignore the lil alarm or not give pause to honor God in that moment of the beep. I typically, if busy just wait till I finish or I think to myself “oh yeah the beep that is to draw me back to Him – yeah that was nice – thanks God” then move on.
Today after reading some encouraging notes and thoughts about watching some others struggles with keeping up (find them on the 60-60 blog site for the campus ministry @ NCSU that I used to work with) I was encouraged to renew my pursuit with greater vigor. So at my most recent beep I stopped and checked out the Bible software I have on my iphone (you really should check it out, whether or not you have an iphone – it works as a simple online program too – it is fantastic – called youversion).
The passage in the daily reading was found in Hosea – this book is a pretty intense love story. It is about a prophet that God told to go and marry a prostitute and to continue to love her and take her back no matter how much she turned against the prophet, her husband. This was to show how passionate a love God has for His people (meaning Israel of that time & now His Church and followers of Christ today). It is to remind us of our adulterous behavior when we turn against His love. It is a horrible and somewhat beautiful story all mixed into one.
On the youversion software for my iphone you can click on the verses and go to commentaries and people who contribute thoughts about the passage. I just so happened to click on one of these passages and I got led to a powerful video on youtube called – WOUNDED BRIDE – which is a modern day parable of this story.
I invite, encourage, no CHALLENGE you to take 5 min and watch this moving story – at first I was not so impressed (how sad it is that due to the intense media culture we live in it is hard for us to sit through 5 min of something that doesn’t challenge/grab us right off the bat) – but then I was really impacted by the final interaction between the couple, especially the husbands final flurry of thoughts, as I was reminded that these are the exact words, thoughts, heart, LOVE that God shows each every day for us – and then thought how dare I not be even able to give him my BEEEEEP!