The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, May 30, 2000

In This Issue

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Spouse... or ministry? Top Ten Dates

By Jonathan McKee
May 30, 2000

My buddy Ray Johnston said something to me once that was a little too convicting. He was talking to a bunch of youth ministers and he said, "When's the last time you spent as much effort planning a date with your wife as you did planning a youth event." It was pretty quiet in the room.

This issue of my e-newsletter is a little different from the usual . . . ten years ago last Thursday was my first date with my wife. This week we've been reminiscing about old times. In our nine years of marriage we've had a lot of fun. For those of you married or dating, I thought I'd share with you my top 10 date ideas.

Top Ten Date Ideas
10. Airplane ride:
(cheap if you know someone) I'm lucky enough to have a cousin that is a pilot and has his own plane. Pick up the spouse, bring her to the airstrip and take a ride around the city. A few soda's in a cooler and some shortbread cookies are always nice.
9. Put-put competition: When we're broke (most the time) we go with our best friends to mini-golf. We rent one putter and use our Entertainment 2 for 1coupon to get another free. Each couple shares a putter, taking turns with each hit. Fun competition between couples and always good for a lot of laughs!
8. Bluffs: By my house there are some bluffs overlooking the American River. I take Lori there and overlook the city. Beautiful picnic spot. (If you have no bluffs, use rooftops of large buildings!)
7. Hot tub: When I was younger and more stupid, we would put on our bathing suits, walk into an expensive hotel and ride the elevator to the top floor. Then we ride it back down to the pool, get out and go sit in the spa. Never been caught!
6. Cook dinner: It's amazing what an incredible effect you can have by having the kids (if applicable) out at the sitters, and have dinner going when the spouse gets home. Best results if dessert is included, fire is lit (preferably in fireplace) and favorite love songs are playing.
5. Surprise Weekend: If your spouse likes surprises, clear a weekend and make all arrangements ahead of time for this one. I love to have the car packed with all the stuff she could possibly need (3 suitcases!) and head off to a hotel far away!
4. Limo Lockout: On an ordinary date night make a quick stop for gas and conveniently lock your keys in the car. Have a Limo arranged that will "happen to be there" and the rest is downhill.
3. Mad Money: Casually ask your spouse what store they would like to spend a lot of money in. When they name the store, say, "Great, let's go there!" Give your spouse an envelope with a chunk of money in it that makes them gasp and go crazy.
2. Envelope Date: Avoid discussing the destination of your date until in the car on the way out. When your spouse asks where you're going, reply, "It's up to you." Have several envelopes prepared and have your spouse pick an envelope. Have a location written down in each envelope with corresponding gift certificates, tickets, money, etc.
1. Midnight Pizza and Flicks: For some reason this simple idea sticks out as one of my wife and I's best memories. One night we were staying up late talking in bed and at about 11:45 p.m. I sat up and said, "I'm hungry!" My wife was too. We called around until we found an open pizza place, ordered pizza and watched a movie. (Notice I didn't include the fact that we were both zombies at work the next day!)

What's Really Important? A Moment of Truth

By Jonathan McKee
May 30, 2000

Last summer our lives were thrown into perspective when I heard my four year old scream from across a hotel lobby. My family was at a Youth for Christ conference in a Southern California hotel. One moment my children were running around my feet and, with the blink of an eye, they were gone. Alec, barely six at the time, had stepped onto the outside ledge of an escalator in the hotel and, holding on to the rail, started riding up to the next level approximately thirty feet above. Alyssa, followed suit and rode up right behind him. Catastrophe waited up top where the ceiling blocked them from going any further up. Alec was agile enough to hug the rail and squeeze to the top to safety . . . Alyssa was not. The scream I heard was as she was falling 30 feet to the marble floor below where she landed on her side. As I rushed up to her, finally realizing what happened, I was sure that this was it. I had blown it- I had taken my eyes off my children for the one crucial second that I needed to be there . . . and I wasn't there! As I sat on the cold marble floor waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I knew nothing. I thought surely her back was broken or worse yet, severe head trauma- but Alyssa just lied there crying, responsive, and with her attention focused on the nurse helping her. People gathered around us in a circle crying and praying through the time that she was rushed out to the hospital. I think that was the worst time, waiting for the first news from the doctor, picturing all the bad things that could have happened internally and loathing the word we were about to hear.

I prayed pretty hard that night. As I prayed, I kept telling God that I knew He was in control. I knew He had the best plan for me, but unfortunately it might not be the plan I wanted. So I took it upon myself to remind God how much He loved children and how much He needed this one around a little longer. I tried to convince Him how much He would be glorified if Alyssa were saved. Then I did the hardest thing. I gave it up to Him. I told Him that whatever happened, I knew He was in control and it was for the greatest good.

The doctor came out scratching his head. "Are you sure nobody caught her? I don't understand this- but there are no broken bones, no bruises and most importantly, her head hasn't been touched. You have one lucky little girl . . . somebody was looking out for her." God is a gracious God, and I'm glad to testify that I've now seen the work of an angel first hand. I'm playing with my kids a little more since that evening when I realized what I almost lost.

Find that story, pictures and more about my wife and kids on my new bio page that I just updated last Thursday. Check it out:


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