Early Reflections from the 2012 SYMC

SYMC 2012.

Simply Youth Ministry Conference.

I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by so many passionate youth leaders that want to see kids grow in their relationships with God. It’s also been refreshing that the speakers and conference organizers really want people at the conference to take a step back, breath, and rest in Jesus’ arms. It’s a conference with workshops, but it’s also an opportunity to receive. This is important since, as leaders, we have a tendency to give and give and give…

I felt particularly blessed by a worship leader named Tim Timmons. I previewed a few of his songs before the conference and wasn’t particularly drawn to his music. However, it’s amazing the way your perspective about someone changes when you experience them in person and as you learn their story.

His presence on stage instantly changed my opinion. He is passionately in love with Jesus, and it’s clear that he passionately wants that love to be made known. Also, he sang a song that really spoke to my heart. It was called Child of God, and it really fits the family theme that my youth ministry in Hong Kong has steadily explored the past couple of months.

There’s no video that I’ve found, but check out the song on iTunes (album is called Sons and Daughters) and the lyrics.

The other cool aspect about Tim Timmons is that I found out he’s lived with a type of incurable cancer for the past nine years. Nine YEARS! I wouldn’t have known except for the fact that I did some research on him. Moreover, he’s pressing on and recording faith-filled and passionate music. His latest project is called Let’s Be Beautiful. I encourage you to watch the video and learn more.

I’ve really appreciated the music and worship at SYMC. I’m blessed, feel refreshed, and I’m looking forward to another full day tomorrow.


A Sojourn to Louisville

My trip to Louisville, Kentucky took longer than expected. There wasn’t a crazy story involved. Rather we simply sat on Hong Kong’s tarmac for 2.5 hours, which caused us to miss our connecting flight and stay overnight in Chicago.

The cool part is that my family made a trip from their home in Rockford just to have dinner with us. I couldn’t believe my mom’s reaction when I called…

“Hi mom, it’s Grant!”
“Oh my dear heavens! What are you doing calling me?”
“So Kristin and I are stuck in Chicago overnight. I know it’s a long shot, but I wanted to let you know that we’re free all night if you want to come visit.”
“Your brother Scott and I can leave in 30 seconds. Is that too soon?”
“Shouldn’t you tell Scott about the visit?”
“I’m sure it won’t be a problem!”

The conversation was a little longer, and I might have exaggerated a bit. And my mom doesn’t actually use the phrase, “Oh my dear heavens!” However, it conveys the way I felt and the fact that my mom was willing to drop everything and drive 1.5 hours each way just for dinner. That’s pretty cool and a sure sign of love.

It kind of reminds me of the father’s reaction in the story of the Prodigal Son. No explanation was needed from the son. No coercion or questioning. The father just dropped everything and made his son feel like the most important person in the world. It was the kind of gesture that few people in the world are capable of demonstrating. [Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily saying I’m like the prodigal son in every way!]

So, mom, if you’re reading this. Thanks for loving Kristin and me. It was well-received 🙂