BTS's rise in America has been rather drastic. The K-pop (Korean Pop) boy band has exploded into the American music industry recently, and they've immersed themselves into American pop culture. However, they are still prone to errors in the English language. This happened last week when the group was introduced to the Mexican restaurant Chipotle, and Jungkook called it "Chicotle." BTS fans of course loved the mistake, and the best part about it is that Chipotle got word of this. They temporarily rebranded their social media accounts to "Chicotle", which has people saying that the company is a part of the BTS army (a term for the BTS fanbase).
A couple of weeks ago, pop-punk Christian band Homeplate released their new EP, Welcome to Breitenstein. The EP features seven songs and is an easy 20 minute listen altogether. Although the band is pop-punk, the album also features metal influences and the band's own self-described easycore. With names like "I Hate the Guy Who Invented Suave Soap", the EP may not immediately strike you as a serious Christian EP. However, the EP approaches issues of trying to follow Christ while the past is still telling you that you haven't changed. The final song is about Newman's (one of the band members) experience of losing a child, which may be a harder listen for younger students. Overall, the EP is very appealing to students who may not be interested in "mainstream" worship songs or need help processing harder emotions in a Christian musical context.
Ping Pong Around the World is an easy game for groups of 5-15. For prep, you will need a ping-pong table (if you don't have one, a table should be fine), a ping-pong ball, and a ping-pong paddle (again, even a book will work as long as you can hit the ping-pong ball). Players stand in a circle around the table, with a person on either end of the table. The player who starts will serve the ball, place the paddle down, and move clockwise. The player across from them returns the ball and also moves clockwise. In this way, the players continue going around the table, picking the paddle up to return the ball and move on. It goes quickly, so players are allowed two misses before they are out. When two players are left, instead of running around the table on every serve/return they must place the paddle down, spin all the way around, and then pick the paddle up again. If you need a visual, here is a great example of a youth group on YouTube. Having played this game, I would recommend giving students plenty of space to move around. If you have anyone who is a little too good at ping-pong, add in a "gentlemen's serve" rule where you cannot curve the ball or do any trick serves. Have fun!
I found a notecard with an encouraging note hanging up in one of the classrooms at SWU. I don't know if I was allowed to, but I took it for myself because I was really encouraged by it. I will let it speak for itself. It says this:
"You paint a picture for your friend, give it to them, and they destroy it. You are devastated! You spent forever on that painting! ... That's how God feels when you tear yourself or feel insecure. You are beautiful because created you!"
You are God's masterpiece. You are invaluable in His eyes, which is why He was willing to give up His Son for you. Imagine if Christians lived with this confidence, knowing that they were unconditionally loved. Insecurities and fear would be a thing of the past. People struggling with worrying about what others think about us would be a thing of the past.
Matthew 10:31 - Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.