Friday, March 26, 2010

IT IS FINISHED

Tomorrow I have a major paper due for my school.

To most people a 12 page isn't a big deal and normally I would agree but this paper was a subject very dear to my heart: "Mentoring" and therefore it was difficult to get the knowledge out of my head onto the paper. It didn't help that I have been suffering major writer's block.
Anyway, I wanted to share with my blog buddies my accomplishment.

The paper is suppose to be about some experience that I have been through and how it applies to a new endeavor that I am currently in. So I wrote about mentoring and how is the useful too of youth ministry.

For those of you who don't know I was youth pastor (currently I am still a youth pastor technically speaking) for past 8 years or so. I was also a residential counselor for a troubled boys home in Bath, NY. So I drew upon those experiences and wrote about being a mentor. I wrote about taking the "things" that happened in my and allowing God to use them for the good of both myself and those around me.

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HERE IS A LITTLE TASTE:

When I am open, honest and practice what I preach, I am able to show that God is really our Father and He is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). It is estimated that 85% of teenagers who are in prison never had a father while growing up. This leads me to believe that it is my job to seek and find these young men who are without a father figure in their lives and provide them with a stable and safe environment for them to learn in.

I read an article on www.orphanbracelet.org/what-we-do/orphan-elephants about orphan elephants that grew up without their mother because of poaching for ivory. These elephants were causing major damage to other wildlife and human beings around them. The orphanage realized that the orphan elephants needed a mature elephant to show “ the rights and wrongs of an elephant”

The article states:

"Without an adult role model, there is no example of love, of setting limits and discipline. And that’s one of the reasons that things go wrong."

I have found it the same with the youth today that I am working with. Many of them do not have a stable family or a family at all in order to show them right from wrong. The real issue that I am finding is that many of these teens are having families of their own. How are they going to raise a young one without the knowledge of right or wrong being passed down to them? This is the role that I am currently fulfilling. This leads me to feel like I am “a substitute parent”. If I am not there to show them how to “live” who will? If I do not allow God to use the experiences of my life to share His goodness and faithfulness then these young man will never be able to reach their full potential.


In the processes of writing this paper someone very special in my churches congregation passed away. Well, I have realized that a young man that lost his "Mature Elephant".

In the fall of 2006 I lost my father very suddenly to colon cancer. In the year to follow I found myself asking God, ‘why did You take my dad away’. Well, within the last two months God has been opening opportunities for to share His faithfulness and mercy with those who have also lost a father or someone in that role of their life. Now I know that is not the entire reason why my dad died and I am pretty sure that I will never know the entire reason why my father is gone. I know that God is using that experience in my life to shine into others a little hope and love.

In his book "To Own A Dragon" Donald Miller (pg 91.) explains how he learned that pilots who are flying across the country are constantly in communication with one another about the weather and the air that the next pilot can expect. One pilot who is about a hour ahead we explain what they went through and then they will contact someone ahead of them in order to find out what to expect. This to me is what mentoring is all about:
We all need someone who has "been there and done that" and is willing to share with us what to expect. We also need to be the person who has "been there and done that" and share it with someone who needs to know what to expect.

Well, I wanted to write here is that we may never fully understand why God does/or allows things to happen to us. What we need to understand is that God's grace and faithfulness is more than enough for whatever situation we find ourselves in. Then once we are on the other side of the troubled water we can share with ours who are suffering the same loss and hurt that we went through. Please if you are struggling or hurting do not keep to yourself. Find someone who can listen, relate, and offer a helping hand.

Below are some photos that I found: One of my nephew Jonah and his dad (my brother) the rest of my dad, my daughter and I:




Well thanks for reading

~Justin
PS. Pick the book to "Own a Dragon or Father Fiction" by Donald Miller!

1 comments:

Mom March 26, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

I think the writers block is gone. Very proud of you! But your doing what you were called to do.