Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

Author: Walt Mueller

Ministry Downfalls. . . And The Problem of Me. . .

In years past I would watch the crash-and-burn of others in ministry and simply shake my head. “Should have known better.” “Well, that was easy to see coming.” “I’m sure glad I would never do anything like that!” All that was ignorant foolishness on my part. It was also the kind of thing that Jesus...
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So, What’s Wrong With Being Self-Centered? . . .

One sunny Labor Day, I had the opportunity to go boating with a group of six high schoolers in the clear blue waters off the coast of Miami. Six of us enjoyed the beautiful weather while swimming and water-skiing off the back end of a pretty impressive boat that belonged to Dave’s father. When it...
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Appearances Are Everything. . .

It’s pretty simple. . . the mantra for identity these days, that is. It goes like this: I am what I look like and what other people think of what I look like. Its for that reason that I’m glad I’m not growing up in today’s world. I’m not sure how I would have handled it. ....
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National School Walkout. . . Solutions?

Just like it will happen all over the country, high school and middle students here in our area will be walking out in planned demonstrations today. . .four weeks after the horrible tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Our kids can and should be encouraged to thoughtfully and peacefully express their thoughts and beliefs on this pressing...
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A Passionate Appeal To Parents. . .

There is a cultural narrative that is catechizing our kids. The classical definition of catechesis is “to instruct orally.” Traditionally, catechesis in the Christian faith took place in the home and the church, with adults asking students a series of questions about the faith, to which they would memorize and recite answers. Regularity and repetition were...
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For Youth Pastors Who Struggle With Porn. . .

My head is still spinning around the message Gail Dines delivers in her video, “Growing Up In A Pornified Culture”, that I blogged on last week.  Her message is in-your-face, troubling, and oh-so-true. As long as we keep moving in this direction, we are mis-shaping our kids in ways that will have. . . in...
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Pornography, Cultural Schizophrenia, and a Video That Tells It Like It Is. . . .

Over the course of the last couple of days I’ve had numerous people tell me about an organization that’s addressing pornography as “the public health crisis of the digital age.” I agree with that assessment. . . and was thrilled by the information I found when I logged on to Culture Reframed. As someone who...
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Post-Parkland Thoughts. . . .

So it’s been one-week since a deeply-troubled and broken soul wreaked havoc on a school in an act that has sent unimaginable ripples of pain and brokenness near (family, friends, community) and far. In the week since, a grieving community has had to endure a series of funerals for lives that ended abruptly and way...
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Cellphone Addiction. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Tethered to our devices. . . that’s what we are. Do we really need to be this connected to our digital tools. . . especially when our digital tools steal our attention from the people in our lives and noble pursuits? And, what are we doing to keep our kids from going down this habit-forming...
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Another Tragedy. . . Beginning the Day After. . .

It’s all over the news. . . and it should be. And as is always the case in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after, social media is overflowing with finger-pointing and arguments over solutions. We’ve heard that before, as well. These discussions must be had, for sure. But I would suggest that our first...
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Fifty Shades Freed. . . A Plea To Christian Parents And Youth Workers. . .

Thirty-nine million dollars. That’s the gross for the weekend’s #1 film. . . the just-released Fifty Shades Freed. . . the third installment in the Fifty Shades series. We all know what the movie is about. No need to go see it or recount the plot. But that’s certainly not what everyone is believing and doing. Just like...
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Youth Ministry. . . Addressing The Sad Reality of Sexual Abuse. . .

This morning, I stumbled upon an article I had written almost 10 years ago for Youthworker Journal. At the time, the issue of sexual abuse of children hadn’t yet assumed the oh-so-necessary place that it increasingly holds in our culture. Yes, we talk about it more. . . and we should. Yes, the Larry Nassar story...
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Football, A Parade, And Perspective. . .

If you are a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, how did you feel in the days leading up to the Super Bowl? And what have you been thinking in the days since? How would you answer the same questions if you are a fan of the New England Patriots? And if you are a fan...
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Crazy Love. . . A Valentine’s Preview. . .

There was a father-son conversation that several times left me scratching my adolescent head. I kept coming back to my dad’s words over the course of my teenage years for the simple reason that they were so contrary to my own teenage reality. I was so baffled by it all that I think I brought...
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Only A Game? . . . Thoughts On What Spectating Tells Me About Me. . .

Last night I watched a panel of pundits on ESPN ponder and debate what’s going through the heart and mind of Nick Foles in the days leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl. Over the course of the last week, I’ve heard numerous others talk about the thoughts and feelings of all the other players. ....
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Big Game. . . Big Marketing $. . . Big Ministry Opportunity. . .

Does marketing work? You bet! If it didn’t work, then why are companies willing to fork out $5 million for a 30-second commercial spot during this year’s Super Bowl? If you’re one of those parents or youth workers who plan on shutting off the commercials during the Super Bowl, let me ask you one question:...
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Kids, Cutting, and Self-Injury. . . And a Helpful Handout. . .

As a culture-watcher, I sometimes like to “rewind” as a way to gain perspective on just how much and how fast youth culture has changed. The practice serves to wake me up at times when familiarity with what was once relatively unknown lulls us to sleep because it’s become all-too-common and widespread. That creates huge...
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Kids And Self-Harm. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

An epidemic. That’s what its become. It is now estimated that 105 of kids in the U.S. deliberately engage in self-harm. Far too many are cutting. I’ve blogged on cutting in the past. We’ve had a “Youth Culture Matters” podcast discussion with my good friend Marv Penner, an expert on the issue of self-injury. And,...
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Reminders For Parents Of Questioning Kids. . .

Yesterday I sat with a group of parents concerned. . . and rightly so. . . about the challenges they face in communicating the biblical narrative to their children and teens when the cultural narrative is so loud, so pervasive, and so convincing. The questioning attitude of a teenage child who has been raised and instructed...
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Dr. Larry Nassar. . . And A Culture of Enablers. . .

The story coming out of a Michigan courtroom this week is sobering, horrifying, and one that cannot be avoided. Dr. Larry Nassar’s systemic serial abuse of more young ladies than we probably know is frightening. More than 150 brave girls stepped forward during the sentencing phase of his trial to address the ongoing fallout his...
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