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March 15, 2009


Alexander Wilhelmsen

On 1989, the younger of my two younger sisters was born in February and I was turning 5 in April. Pre-K was alright, I guess.

Anyways, on losing your friend, maybe he was had it like you did, he just found much greater joy in it. Joy may not always mean smiles, sometimes it is simple contentment for a time that if all else is wrong, God loves us. That's something that I guess I'm fortunate with is that I've known God loves me and known my stuff. God I love, people, oui ve.

On part two, aren't camps fun? Well, short term ones on my part. One weekend during middle school was probably my "time," although things ebb and flow over time. I guess I needed it to carry me through some of the rough times leaning on faith and the good times that happened to happen throughout. VBSs pretty much helped me develop my love of sharing God's love with those younger than me (since I wasn't a student, I was then one of the leaders, since 6th Grade).

It's amazing that it's going to be my 13th year as a helper and some years I've doubled up. By the way, I'm 25 years old.

The next camp experience came just as you had come onto the scene and just before my first true Youth Minister in years at St. James.

At the Lee University, Tennessee site for StudentLife Camp 2003, oddly enough named "Here For A Purpose," it was night one, and the people on stage asked for leaders and co-leaders (graduates and adults appearently) to get their stuff, and I sat there hoping to be one of those at some point (I was thinking in the future). That night at dinner, I found out that I happened to be a co-leader to one of my adult leaders. I wasn't vocal, I was just there being my helpful self and I pretty much quietly helped to lead. I was fired up for helping to lead my youth minister into his second year and beyond.

As you know, I wasn't there much longer for reasons beyond what you know. Oddly enough, by the time I was ready to take a step up going into my last year of school, well, I lost another one to the usual Church Politics. A year later, I'm off to another church after a much longer transition out. There are the "What If's," but still, there is "No Day But Today," and "This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Come to think of it, that first year, I had to hang around and clarify that my priority wasn't being around friends I had known over the years, I was not from that church or for that one, it was, and still is about the young people.

Five years I hung on with a Radio Station that had people that didn't treat me well at one point, but some of those people turned the other way, and I eventually ran the place. Well, about 99 hours officially, but I led it. The Youth Ministry journey (outside of the four year Christian Radio Show) has been and is still bumpy. There are still things that I don't get, but if I remember right, in the movie "Rudy" Father Cavanaugh has a wonderful line of "Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him." My comfort is that I know why I don't have it as together as I could and I know that God truly wants the heart of me before all else (Psalm 50).

25 crazy years of life as of this last Thursday, April 16th, and into this summer will be 6 years leading Middle/High Schoolers in some way.

I have no idea how it's going to turn out, but if I look back on my radio station experience, it was the good, the bad, and the ugly, but in the end, I know that I had made a mark and it had been real. So it is with life. Just because you get kicked aside (in the face for the illustration) doesn't mean it's over, it just means that you comeback with a shoemark as a souvenier that you have to remember that you didn't have it easy, you had it better.

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