Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Bag of Stories

It has been some 4 years since I have spoken to teenagers or have taught a Youth ministry class at the college level (something I use to do very frequently). But this past weekend I spoke at the Winter Youth Retreat for the Grace Community Church of Frederick, MD. As a result, I had to dig back into my “bag of stories” that I use to tell all the time when speaking to teens. Most of these stories I have not told in years. It was kind of fun to tell them again and to my amazement, the teens still laughed at them and responded well to them. Some of my favorite stories from my “youth speaking days” include:

The Spaghetti Story: This story goes back to the summer after my High School graduation when I worked as a counselor and sailing instructor at a camp in Northeast, Maryland. I became attracted to a girl counselor and finally got up enough never to ask her out on our day off. We went out for an Italian dinner and a movie (something really romantic like Psycho, if I remember right). Anyway to make a long (and I must admit, slightly exaggerated) story short, when we got back to the camp we took a walk down on the dock where I attempted to kiss her. Unfortunately, just as my lips moved toward hers, RALPH showed up. Now, RALPH is not a person…RALPH is what it sounds like when you throw up…R—A—L—P—H!! Get it?

Pea in the Corner: This is a story about a sports announcer who told me about his most embarrassing moment involving a basketball player with the last name of “PEA” who took a shot from the corner of the court. To this day there are probably still people in Lynchburg, Virginia trying to figure out what the young man really did in that corner.

Get off the Tracks: This is a story about a prank that my college roommate and I use to play on the football players on our floor in the middle of the night as they were sound asleep. It included a flashlight, a bell, and the loud shouts of, “Get off the tracks! Get off the tracks!” I never knew 340 pound offensive lineman could move so fast!

Anxiously Waiting: This is a story about a trick that my roommate and I pulled on our other roommate in college who really thought he was God’s gift to women. After two months of sending him daily love letters signed “Anxiously Waiting” we set up a final rendezvous that included a very attractive senior girl who was a drama major and most of the college football players who were hiding in the bushes around the rendezvous point. I doubt very seriously that this roommate has yet to really forgive us for that night.

Robin Hood: This is the story about the time I was an intern youth pastor at a church that had a huge Bible School which resulted in me wearing green panty hose all week long walking little kids from their house to the bus and from the bus to the house. It actually made the front page of the Dayton Daily News in color, me in green panty hose!

Catching Monkeys: This is a story about how hunters in some parts of South America hunt monkeys and what we can learn from it about what it really means for us to hate sin.

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