Monday, December 19, 2011

The Extravaganza... We do it for Jesus.

A bunch of hilarious, weird, amazing, inspiring people gathered in the St. Michael's youthroom for the Prayer and Action Extravaganza on Sunday night. I think we might have beaten the record for most obnoxious people in one room at the same time. (In a good way!) On one side of the room, you've got Kyle, who strikes up random coversations about poop ("the call of duty"). Then you've got Chris, who adds "Get it? Prayer and Action? Like prayer and then action!" to every conversation. Then you've got a whole group of high schoolers playing some noodle ball, smacking a wiffle ball with pool noodles. And finally you've got a group throwing Nerf darts at the windows, then tracing the outlines to make pictures.

Yeah, we're obnoxious. But that's what youth ministry is all about -- acting like complete fools for Jesus. All those Nerf darts we threw? We threw them for Jesus. Every time we smacked that ball with the noodles? That was for Jesus. Every time Chris found a way to incorporate Prayer and Action into a coversation? He did that for Jesus. And, somehow, everytime Kyle talked about poop... That was for Jesus too.

This is idea of doing everything in the name of the Lord is what Prayer & Action is all about. Through painting houses, pulling weeds, getting to know the hearts of the people we're working for, or even squirting eachother with water guns for a week, we learned how to incorprate Jesus into all of that. It's all for Him.

Bringing everyone from Prayer and Action back together -- all the seminarians, leaders, youth ministers, priests, singers, and students -- just brought all of those amazing memories and feelings back. It reminded me that it really is all for Him. And especially as the youth of our Diocese, we might think that we're just the teenagers who everyone sees as obnoxious (which, I guess, is partially true), but we play such a huge role in the church. We are the future of the church, insane, I know. "Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity." (1 Timothy 5:12).

So let's keep rocking this world. In everything we do. Through Prayer AND Action.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Live the Fourth

I had heard stories about how fantastic Kairos was, how I had to go, and how my life would be changed forever. I'm not gonna lie. I was a little skeptical. Really? One weekend at a retreat was going to change my life? Must be some retreat........

But it was. No doubt about it. Everything I experienced actually exceeded the great comments I had previously heard about it. I actually am a changed person -- the new and improved Jordan McEntee. :]

So what did I really get out of those three days away from society? Everything. Well, I can't tell you a whole lot because I don't want to spoil any surprises for you if you go on Kairos. But here's a few of the big ideas that I've brought home with me:

1) While setting specific time aside to form my relationship with God is important, what is even more crucial is incorporating prayer into EVERY SINGLE that I do. It's not about one experience. My whole life is my "God Moment."

2) Little things have BIG impacts. Just saying hi to someone, or waving to someone, or even just smiling at someone could be the difference. Make someone's day by doing something small! That's something that I've been trying realy hard to work on since Kairos.

3) SHMILY. This one stands for "See How Much I Love You." It's so easy to show people that we love them and that we care about them, whether it be through prayer, doing a favor for them, smiling at them, writing them a little happy note, or just being with them. And SHMILYs are a cycle! You get one, and you share it. Over, and over, and over, and over again. The circle of life, baby.

The weekend was full of spiritual, inspiring, deep, conversations. But, of course, you can't put 28 high school kids together with hilarious youth ministers and not expect to have some hysterically funny moments. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the retreat:

"Smiles are infectious!" -Greg Alba

"There's a cloud of witnesses praying for you ALL the time, sending you a billion SHMILYs through prayer channels." -Joe Passantino

"Do you really think you're a better artist than God?" -Joe Turner

"We're all HIS. It's beautiful, just beautiful!" -Kyle Kuckelman

"If you could see yourself the way God sees you, you would believe that you are AMAZING." -Chelsea Schmidt

"No matter what you've done, He would die on that cross again, just for you. Only you." -Mitchell Cardin

"I think God chooses a few people to support the rest, and it is a mystery tome how the whole prayer things works, all I know is that it does. I would be NOWHERE if people hadn't prayed for me. I know that the sacrifices my friends and family made for me are all that sustain me sometimes, especially when prayer is difficult." -Jared Michael Cheek (retold by Rick Cheek)

"He might not get you to YOUR ideal situation, but THE ideal situation." -Jennifer Summers

"The sure sign that God is active in your life is that you will be led where you did not plan to go." -Brent Rempe

"You're the prized posession on God's shelf, a picture on his refridgerator." -Maggie Crabtree

Instead of root them on... "Pray them on." -Rick Cheek

Doesn't this just make you want to go sign your papers and head off to Kairos right now?? Me too. All I can say is that it really was a life changing experience -- and not one that's only going to last a few weeks. I met so many fannnnntastic people who are really going to hold me accountable in my faith, and I will do the same for them. We're all in it together, because the rest of our lives are God's time, KAIROS.