Back from CIY, Thank God…

“I stab you in the face…” — Lewis the Unicorn

For the uninitiated, CIY is an acronym for Christ in Youth, our non-denomination’s (Restoration Movement) yearly summer youth conference. Starting this year the high school conference is now known as Move.

This year, our youth group went to the one held in Bolivar, Missouri on the campus of Southwest Baptist University.

This makes the second time I go to CIY, the first was in ’05 at Lee College in Cleveland, Tennessee. Like last time, the conference featured some outstanding speakers and moving (no pun intended) worship sessions.

For what it is worth here are some thoughts from the last week:

  • The morning speaker (Matt Reagan, youth pastor at Southeast Christian Church) took home top teaching honors and to think, we could have had him at GCC… guess it isn’t God’s Will. Any teacher that goes expositional without you realizing it is alright in my book. Then there’s the fact that he quoted Dr. Piper, twice.
  • Insofar as the Bell family is concerned, all the speaking talent went to Rob and nary an ounce was left over for John (this in no way reflects on content) who bless his heart, drones circles around Ben Stein.
  • When will CIY attendees learn that their just-for-CIY daring do (mohawk, shotgun, mullet et al) is not original, and will never be original because there are 1000s of Jimmy Jacks (thanks Michael) who already thought about being daring? Rock one of these and maybe you will be taken seriously,

  • A talent show is about showcasing actual talent not playing a track (a Nickelback selection of all blasted things!) and singing over the lyrics.
  • If you didn’t go it stinks because for the next few weeks you’ll feel left out when fellow students repeat phrases see the beginning of this post.
  • Beginning to wonder if the conference should be renamed AIY (Apple in Youth).
  • Don’t make ethnic jokes, some people (especially the “ethnic” ones) will not get it despite the inherently harmless humor therein. You tell me if the following is offensive, “Yeah us Mexicans learn to play soccer before we learn to walk.” You have a problem with that joke and guess what buddy? You have a problem with yourself.
  • This conference did not seem to drip with emotionalism as the last one I attended did.
  • I will pray that the decisions made are real and not responses solely to emotional manipulation.
  • Kevin Greer is more than cool (for an “old” guy). Though “cool” is passe, I believe the current term is “crunk”.
  • The cafeteria food rocked compared with other cafeteria food, so long as you stayed away from the main course and waded in the safe waters of hamburgers and pizza.
  • Driving a van full of high school girls was not the ordeal I expected it to be.
  • It’s funny to go on a cavern tour where the tour guide spews out Uniformitarian concepts while the educational vid promotes creationism (When told that the cave formed as a result of the Flood, the guide replied with “I don’t know, I wasn’t there” but somehow she managed to be there however long ago the cave supposedly formed)
  • Navy guys, indeed, make the best coffee
  • It’s a small victory to know that I haven’t lost my touch at Egyptian Ratcrap played over an ice chest.
  • V.C. is a universal language
  • If our students were not tired of Acts before CIY, they’re probably now (though I hope not ‘cuz we’re finishing this thing out).
  • The reality of God’s Grace was driven home in a vast variety of ways, that’s all I have to say about that…
  • I wonder if reaching your target audience is worth purposefully fudging Biblical facts or if God kind of frowns on that…
  • Sex-trafficking is a big, big problem and not limited to places like Cambodia.
  • I wonder if referring to Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 as a “punk rock song” is a lame attempt at reaching teenagers
  • The Toy Box Gang rocks the house to be sure, but I wonder if Lewis the Unicorn was funny to us all only because of his black “accent”?
  • MLK’s observation that church is the most segregated hour in America was proved correct once again judging by CIY attendees.
  • There’s nothing like taking 4 books with you and not only not finishing a single one but only reading a total of half a page combined. I forgot that, yeah, there will be no time to do that because one of the main points of CIY is to actually spend time with your students outside of CIY functions. Silly me…
  • Back Fat, I was glad to make your acquaintance at Lambert’s.
  • CIY did not change anybody, it will never change anybody because it cannot change anybody. Only God has the capability to do that, I hope the lives that were changed realize and understand that, otherwise the professed change is no change at all.
  • Not everywhere in the U.S. do Mexicans mow lawns or lay bricks.
  • Bible Bowl is interesting…
  • Never thought I’d stay in a worse dorm room than the one I shared with Erik back in Jester. To be sure though, my suitemates definitely more than made up for the deficiency, it’s all about community right?
  • There is nothing like going to a youth conference and witnessing your first drug deal (not by one of the attendees).
  • No matter where you go, when you go, there is always that one guy whose sole purpose is to draw attention to himself. I hope I have never been that guy (I probably have) or that I will ever be that guy
  • Oklahoma roads are almost as bad as Mexican roads.
  • Had access to a computer but chose to only check my email and Facebook once (this blog zero times), and I did not die. Amazing that we can actually survive without constantly being plugged in…
  • CIY small group lessons are written on the assumption that every student in attendance is there willingly and not forced to be there by his/her parents.
  • Last but certainly not least, being away from your wife and toddler definitely sucks.

Some things I forgot:

  • On the way up to Missouri, we passed Checotah, Oklahoma. That tiny town’s most famous export is of course the talented Carrie Underwood (below)
    Is there anyone who can resist the temptation of driving past Checotah without letting go of the steering wheel and belting (in my case rather badly), “Jesus take the Wheel” at the top of their lungs? Surely not I…
  • As any of the girls can testify (or at least the ones that were awake) my knowledge of modern country acts amounts to a faith hill of beans.

10 Responses to Back from CIY, Thank God…

  1. kris says:


    glad you are home. missed your posts.

    i went to ciy as a teenager, and then as a sponsor. it was wonderful. in my day, they had the whole campus memorize large passages of scripture (1 example: John 1:1-10) we, as a group in the last night service, would say the entire passage out loud. i still remember those passages and those times.

    thanks for taking our kids at grace.


  2. Laz says:

    Kris, thanks for the kind words. It was a blast.

    Perhaps the fact that memorization was not part of this year’s curriculum is a sign of the times?

  3. KW says:

    maybe it is. that is why i love awana for our little guys (elementary age). it is full of memorization. i hpe this will get my boys in the habit of memorizing. its all about hiding Gods word in your heart.

    in my youth group at church (when i was in HS) we would also memorize large passages such as romans 6:1-8., psalms 1, 100, 23. we also did this at church camp.

    i have many examples of memorizing as a high schooler. i still remember them and am grateful for them.


  4. j razz says:

    How did you like the small town of Bolivar? I spent many summers up there working at Super Summer and traveling with a band called Jonas that led worship for them for several years. I also worked south of there at Kids Across America– an inner-city Christian sports camp. I did not go to university there but I do have a lot of connections with people who did. Glad your back. We only tried one recipe so far and I cannot remember the name of it- it was good though!

    Have a good day buddy.

    j razz

  5. Laz says:

    Didn’t really venture much into the town. Though we did witness a drug deal in a neighborhood adjacent to campus (my first).

    It was funny one night we were planning to have small group at Starbucks, but alas there was not one to be found in Bolivar. So we “settled” on the local Dairy Queen.

    We did hit Fantastic Caverns though.

  6. camilla says:

    carrie is a celeb shes cute but wat country does she come from plz tell me one of u

  7. i now its columbia/or spain or brazil u guesssearch it

  8. natalia says:

    i now columbia usa

  9. camilla says:

    em im gonna see for myself kk amilia

  10. demi says:

    em u guys amilia natalia camilla u got to go to the mall remember

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