10 on the 12th

Several years ago, my Qualitative Analysis Professor, Dr. Terry Linhart, mentioned using photos in research. He said this as a comment made in passing, but I wrote it down, intrigued by the notion. 

His comment percolated for the next month and eventually prompted me to hand out disposable cameras to the teens about to go on our upcoming winter retreat. 

Their assignment? Take 27 photos in a single day, each reflecting some element of a typical day. 

I then brought the teens' completed photos to the winter retreat, where we made collages and used them to discern how we see and hear God in the midst of our ordinary lives. 


Rebekah's Ten on Ten project immediately reminded me of the disposable camera project from that retreat several years ago. Knowing how God moved through that project, I decided to participate in this as well, (though in the interest of full disclosure, my photos are from March 12, not March 10.)   

Sam In The MorningMuch to our cat's chagrin, we don't actually allow Samson to sleep with us. So every morning, he waits for me just outside the bedroom door. As soon as I open the door, he flops onto his back, eager for his morning belly rub. 

March Snow Despite the fact that it was 50 degrees earlier this week, yesterday - March 12, mind you - we awoke to more snow. Despite the aggravation that comes with a snowfall this late in the season, I must admit, it was beautiful.

DymWednesday's are my day to blog at Download Youth Ministry. So first thing yesterday morning, I wrote my post. 

PaneraYesterday, I also had the privilege of meeting with my mutual minister, an older man from our congregation who meets with me monthly to pour into me, help me troubleshoot problems, and encourage me. Whenever we meet, we do so at Panera, which is pretty much my second office. 

BibleWednesday's are also the day I write lessons for both our junior high and high school Sunday school classes. Yesterday, I wrote one on Peter's denial and subsequent reinstatement for our junior high class. 

Cold DrugsRegrettably, I had to make an emergency stop at the grocery store yesterday afternoon in order to pick up drugs. I thought I'd managed to make it through the winter without getting sick. Then yesterday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. By last night, my voice was almost completely gone. 

Lenten Dinner In my congregation, Wednesdays are synonymous with Lenten meals. To help encourage our teens to attend, our high school students sit together during these meals. 

Liturgy For Earth KeepingFollowing dinner, my congregation holds a short evening prayer service. This year, we've deviated from the much loved Holden Evening Prayer to a Liturgy for Earthkeeping. 

PianoAfter dinner, my high school students and I prepared for Youth Sunday. Despite having played the piano since Kindergarten, anymore, I don't play as often as I once did (or as often as I would like to). Yet, year after year, I return to the piano on Youth Sunday. Each time I do, I remember just how much music ministers to my soul. 

Guitar TuningThere are, without a doubt, many reasons why I love and am grateful for my husband. Among them? His willingness to facilitate the Youth Sunday Praise Band. Doing so also means this is the one time a year he faithfully restrings his guitar. 


This morning, I started reading Micha Boyett's book, Found . In it, she says, "Ignatius instructs us to look through the past day and simply notice: What was good? Where was God in the smallest moments?" 

As it turns out, photos can help us do this. 

The teens who participated in that retreat several winters ago certainly know this. 

In the same way, my photos from yesterday also bare testimony to this as well. 

In them, the good from yesterday is readily apparent. 

So, too, is God. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

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