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And now....I'm really done

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 by Mike Lovato

This should be the last post labeled seminary from me. Just e-mailed my last paper in. It's over. Oh wait, maybe I'll post about graduation in May. Until then, no more posting about seminary.


10 Pages

by Mike Lovato

10 pages is all that stands between me and my masters degree. Tonight, I shall conquer those 10 pages. (I'm not sure why I just got all medieval sounding).


Last Few Days

Sunday, January 28, 2007 by Mike Lovato

It's been a busy few days lately. Returned from Mill Valley to our office move. My stuff is now all in the new office, but I'll probably spend much of my time in there tomorrow organizing stuff.

On Friday, I taught my youth ministry class and then headed over to the church to write a scholarship recommendation for our senior pastor's son. I've never seen such detailed requirements for a recommendation letter. The group had it organized into four sections that would each be scored separately. Then, Nicole and I took her younger sister to see Epic Movie. I could write more about this, but the short version is "don't see this movie."

On Saturday, we had our 101 and 201 classes scheduled for youth. We had a few sign-ups, but in the craziness of the last few days hadn't done any reminder phone calls. Thus, we had one 8th grade girl show up for 101 and that was it. We cancelled. So I went upstairs and cleaned out my new-to-me mini-fridge. It was nasty and looked like someone had vomited in it. After that, came home and did a bunch of organization of my seminary papers and notes. Then some grocery shopping at Winco.

Today was church in the morning, a quick lunch at Baker's, Mexico info meeting, time at home, trip to visit my Grandma (she's sick and feeling pretty lonely), and then student leadership meeting at our place.

Crap, that was my weekend? I'm looking forward to taking a break and going to work!

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Fun with our New Camera

Thursday, January 25, 2007 by Mike Lovato

This is Ben. He is our high school intern. He looks like he is about to get ran over by a car.

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The Big Move

by Mike Lovato

We're in the process of moving our church offices from across the street in a CBU-owned building back onto our church campus. I was gone for the first two days of the week and showed up yesterday to find no furniture in my new office still. Thus, Coffee Depot is currently my office. Supposedly my furniture is on its way up this morning. I hope it's there when I show up after lunch.


Room with a View

Monday, January 22, 2007 by Mike Lovato

This is a pic I took today from the back of the classroom building I'm in this week. Jealous?

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Life in Mill Valley

Sunday, January 21, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Just arrived a bit ago in Mill Valley, CA for my last seminary class at Golden Gate. It's going to be weird to be done. I'm in a commuter guest room with a roommate who I have not seen or met yet. I've tried to figure some things out about him. Here's what I've got so far from my keen observation skills:

There's a men's Bible on the desk...therefore, he is male (a good thing...my wife generally disapproves of me having female roommates).

There is an abnormally large jug of water and the world's largest Dasani bottle in here....he likes water.

There's some sort of list on the desk....therefore, he must be an Other.

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New Camera

Friday, January 19, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Just got our new Canon PowerShot SD600 in the mail today. We picked it up after hearing some good stuff from Carlos Whittaker and then Dan Lance. So far so good!


Getting the Word Out

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Generating buzz for a ministry is sometimes a tough thing. In reality, the best kind of buzz is when something is happening, God is changing lives, and people just have to tell their friends about it. At the same time, we've been going at this college ministry thing for a few months now and have some decent momentum in some ways, but still need to get moving in others.

We made and ordered some promo cards for our series we're starting tomorrow night. Problem was, I underestimated the shipping time and we didn't get them in time to get to any of our students on Sunday.

Then today I was on campus at CBU and went to give some to Deanna, one of our college students. I asked how many she wanted and she's on duty in the dorms tonight so as I'm typing this just about every one of the 100-something rooms in Simmons Hall should have a promo card for our new series. I'm stoked that she's getting the word out!

Next step - let the guys in our area know we may be having a female invasion tomorrow night. The odds are now in their favor.



by Mike Lovato

Lots of posting on this in the blogosphere...here's my take:

Jack Bauer....still the man....slightly down in the dumps....but still the man.

Last few minutes of last night....crap, that was crazy.

Curtis....we will miss you....along with every other character on this show that we've grown attached to and now lost.

Best Quote: Lucas texting me saying "there goes magic mountain"


Snow Pics

Friday, January 12, 2007 by Mike Lovato

My mother-in-law took some pics of the snow at their house (about 5-10 minutes from us). There's one of my sister-in-law out while it was snowing and then their table and deck.

NOTE: I know those of you who read this in places with actual weather will probably scoff at these pictures. But this was the most I've ever seen it snow someplace I've actually lived.


by Mike Lovato

Got a phone call waking us up from my mother-in-law telling us it was snowing! Mind you, we live in Riverside, CA. It snows here once every few years. It looks now like it's just about done, but I was like a little kid glued to the window watching it earlier.


Midweek at a Glance

Thursday, January 11, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Series: None
Message: Celebration, CBU Drama Team
Game: Average. We did Deaf Karaoke where a student sang along with headphones and only they could hear the music. Had some technical difficulties in the first round, but once that got ironed out it was pretty funny.
Music: Average. Songs: Open the Eyes of my Heart, Beautiful One, Pour out my Heart, Your Renown, Wonderful Maker
Message Length: 30-ish minutes
Message Quality: Average. Tough to call it average because there's nothing to compare to. It was actually a drama presentation. It was probably just good to have something different.
Volunteer Interaction: Below Average. Had some gone and we were working on some stuff till last minute and I didn't feel very connected to students before.
Student Response: Average
Attendance: Below Average.
1st Time Guests: 2


Youth Ministry Class

by Mike Lovato

I had the first day of my Ministry with Youth class yesterday that I'm teaching at CBU. I'm even more excited about it now that I've been in the classroom. Seems like a good group of students. There's about 20 in the class, most have already been involved in youth ministry to some degree.

Some of my hopes for this semester in class:
  • Lay a good foundation for youth ministry for these students who will one day be leading youth ministries in local churches.
  • Help the class sharpen each other as they're learning together.
  • Be sharpened myself as I spend the extra time studying, teaching, listening, and discussing.

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Group Conference

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Just booked my flight and hotel for Group's National Youth Ministry Conference. I'm excited about going. A lot of people I know are involved in different parts of the conference. I'm traveling alone though which I'm a little bummed about. Originally I wanted to take one of our staff guys but we didn't have budget for it. Then I was going to room with a dude from Iowa but now he's bringing his wife. At one point, Nicole was talking seriously about going (but we'd have to pay for her out of pocket). After realizing that would be over $500, we nixed that idea.

SIDE NOTE: One day if I am ever in charge of a main church budget, we will pay for spouses to go to one conference a year with the staff member.

So, all that to say, I'll be there February 9-12, and I'm looking forward to it. Drop me a comment if you'll be there too.


Volunteer Meeting

Monday, January 08, 2007 by Mike Lovato

We had a volunteer meeting last night so I thought I'd share what we typically do in our team meetings.

We meet together about every other month during the school year with all jr. high and high school volunteers. Our turnout rate isn't quite what I'd like it to be. We probably had about 1/3 of our active volunteers theere last night.

Here are the elements of a typical meeting:
  • We sit at round tables with up to 8 people at a table
  • Eating - we always eat together. This builds relationships, appreciates our volunteers, and is usually delicious. My first year here we asked volunteers to chip in to cover costs, but now we just pay for it with budget.
  • Table Talk - we have a list of discussion questions on the table to get leaders talking. Some are just goofy and others ask about how stuff is going in ministry.
  • Overachievers - this is the part where we give away a prize to someone who has gone above and beyond what's expected of them. We usually do one for jr. high and one for high school.
  • Devotion - Either myself or one of our staff shares something just focused on the heart of our leaders. It's not for them to pass on to students, but just to encourage or challenge themselves.
  • Training - We do probably about 20 minutes of training, topics change based on what I feel is needed. Last night was on how to TALK to students.
  • Breakouts - We close the night by breaking out into the high school team and the jr. high team to discuss ministry-specific issues. This is where we might run a new idea by leaders, highlight any upcoming events, and see if there are any issues we need to be dealing with.

By the way, just about everything I know about volunteers comes from Katie Edwards. We've HEAVILY copied her staff meeting format from Saddleback. Katie, if you ever read this, you should start blogging. I would read it.

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Almost Ready to Go

Saturday, January 06, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I just put the finishing touches on my syllabus for the youth ministry class I'll be teaching this semester. I'm a mix of excited and nervous about it. I ran into the Dean who asked me to teach yesterday and told him I'm not so nervous about the first day because it's just going over the syllabus and stuff, but then starting Friday I have to deliver! He was a little reassuring because he said he still gets nervous every time he starts a new class.

It all begins on Wednesday!


Sweet Meeting? Maybe...

Thursday, January 04, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I had several items on my agenda to wrap up this afternoon when I got buzzed by our senior pastor's secretary with this: "The architects are here and they want you in the meeting."

Sweet! I was stoked. We're heading into a building project and finally getting some decent youth space (among other things). I had been a little bummed because I've felt somewhat out of the design loop so far. But now this was my chance!

I head downstairs to the conference room, meet the architects, and grab my seat. An hour and a half later we'd spent maybe a grand total of 30 seconds discussing actual detail (I'm not even sure you can call it detail) on the high school room. The rest of the stuff was interesting in its own sense to see some behind the scenes stuff, but I wasn't totally needed. Oh well.

Maybe one day soon they will ask me where to put the climbing wall in the new room.


...And I'm Back

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Ok, so I ended up taking a total break from blogging over vacation. I'm glad to be home. Here's some of the highlights of the last couple weeks.

  • Lots of down time in Fresno with my family
  • Got to see my brother and his wife, along with their new apartment in Santa Barbara
  • Some cool gifts
  • Grandparents' 50th anniversary - I was looking forward to this and dreading it at the same time....it turned out to be pretty low-key and pretty fun.
  • Rose Parade - we did an ushering fund-raiser that was right after I got back in town. I wasn't looking forward but it turned out to be pretty cool as well.
  • Firefox and IE haven't been working for a couple weeks on my laptop. Got that back working this morning....now just need to be my itunes to realize it IS connected to the internet and I'm in business.
  • Finished the reading and a paper for an independent study I'm working on. Last seminary class here I come!
  • I've been flossing my teeth like a madman since I had one of the more painful dental cleanings of my life right before vacation.
Ok, more to come from me soon. I'm hoping to be back in a good blogging pattern this week.



Mike Lovato is a follower of Jesus, husband to Nicole, daddy to Addison, and pastor to teenagers in Riverside, CA.


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