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

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When You Recognize The Mug Shot. . . A Sobering Texting Reminder. . .

“Oh my!” That’s what I said shortly after opening this morning’s paper. I recognized the face in the mugshot and knew the name underneath. The headline says, “Police: Texting Key In Fatality: Charge woman with homicide by vehicle after collision with cyclist.” The 60-year-old woman was a beloved teacher of more than one of our... more »

Teen Vaping. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

This morning I had breakfast with a public school administrator. Since every high school and middle school is a microcosm of our larger global youth culture, it’s helpful to hear what educators are seeing, hearing, and having to deal with in the student population. My friend informed me that they have just purchased a vape... more »

LGBTQ And A Conversation That Brings Some Clarity. . .

Her story is compelling. Two decades ago she was an outspoken lesbian activist, university professor, and a shaper of queer theory. Today, she is a follower of Jesus, a pastor’s wife, and a homeschool mom. When I first read Rosaria Butterfield’s story in her book The Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert, I was reminded of God’s... more »

Kids Who Cut. . . 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... more »

You Won’t Believe This. . . But I Must Show You. . .

You might already be aware that three weeks ago a 90mph overnight police chase ended in. . . yes in. . . our CPYU office. You can go back, read the story, and see some pictures here. As if this isn’t crazy enough, it’s happened twice. The first time was back in August of 2006 and... more »

Pride and Self-Promotion. . . A Warning For Parents, Youth Workers And The Rest Of Us. . .

“My greatest character trait is my humility.” Those words were uttered tongue-in-cheek by a friend back in college and I’ve heard the same thing said by others several times since. Always a joke. But I wonder if we’re predisposed to actually believing it. If so, our ignorance and self-deception is going to kill us. My... more »

Youth Ministry Self-Promotion And The Call To Humility. . .

Recently on a Facebook youth ministry group page, a youth worker posted a question we should all be asking from time to time. It was a question about self-promotion. . . which in our social-media-saturated world is a huge temptation for everyone. Yes, our kids clamor to be YouTube celebrities. Those of us who are... more »

Lightning Has Struck Us Twice! . . . Keep Us In Your Prayers. . . .

Somebody called me yesterday and said to me, “Lightning never strikes twice. Yeah. Right.” I could only laugh. Some of you will remember that early on an August morning 13 years ago a car came crashing through my office wall at 45 miles an hour. Miraculously, I walked out unharmed. CPYU then went through the... more »

Teen Vogue: Inviting Teens Into Legitimizing Sex Work. . .

Teen Vogue magazine is not longer available in print, but it continues to pump out content in its’ free online format. In other words, it’s accessible. The target audience is girls between the ages of twelve to seventeen. Of course, there are those outside of the target (both younger and older) who access the content online.... more »

A Letter To Senior Pastors. . .

Dear Pastor, I’ve asked your youthworker and your students’ parents to forward this letter on to you. It’s about the kids in your congregation and the powerful role that you play as their pastor in their spiritual nurture. I know that you’ve got teenagers sitting in your congregation every week. From your vantage point up... more »

Friday Fodder. . . #keepitinyourfamily. . . #whocares. . .

Her eyes were opened after refocusing them from spending so much time on social media, to focusing on things that really matter. That’s what happened to Tony Reinke’s wife when she chose “social media sobriety.” Reinke shares a powerful statement from his wife in his book, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. On the... more »

Transgender NCAA Champ. . . And The Soul Of Our Culture. . .

Last weekend, CeCe Telfer was photographed hoisting an NCAA Championship Trophy high in the air. Telfer’s smile is appropriate for such a victory, and one that I would imagine sharing if I had ever garnered a victory of that magnitude. . . which to be honest, is and was completely impossible! Telfer’s victory came in... more »

Inside The Teenage Brain. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Everything I’ve learned about the developing teenage brain has been quite liberating for me. It’s been liberating as a journey in self-discovery. You see, if the brain is not fully wired-up until about the age of 25, then that offers me at least some sort of explanation for much of my confusing and now-embarrassing adolescent... more »

The Mystery Of Marriage. . .

Celebrating almost four decades of the mystery of marriage today. . . and I read this in David Brooks’ new book “The Second Mountain”: “An old guy is talking to his daughter about his love for his late wife. He tells her, ‘Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned... more »

Why Youth Workers Must Be Hitched To The Old Testament. . .

In a perfect world, the church would be engaging, confronting, and transforming culture as a path to see what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer (“Thy Kingdom come. . . “) become a greater and greater reality on our broken and fallen earth. We would be committed to pursuing a greater understanding of Scripture so... more »

Youth Ministry & Technology. . . Help or Hindrance? . . .

This morning I found some notes I had taken a few years ago on John Dyer’s book, From The Garden To The City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology. I had heard John speak at a forum on faith and technology. . . and I was impressed. The book made it to the top of... more »

The Perfect Storm Converging On Social Media This Week. . .

As a three-decade-long culture watcher/listener who can’t help but ruminate on what’s happening this week on the landscape of social media interactions among those who call themselves “Christian”. . . I’ve been trying to sort it all out. I don’t have it all figured out. . . for sure. . . but I know we... more »

Christians and Social Media This Week. . . The Wisdom Of Silence. . .

And so our differences this week are blazing all over social media. The fire of theological differences has been burning  on social media for quite some time. Events of the last few days and how folks are responding. . . on multiple fronts and sides. . . has thrown fuel on the fire. It’s flaring... more »

On Our Knees For The Media. . .

If you’re sick of it all, I don’t blame you. There’s so doggone much of it out there vying for our time, attention, and dollars that it’s absolutely overwhelming. It lulls us into a perpetual stupor. And, who knows what to believe anymore. . . but we still believe. . . and then we act.... more »

What The Heck Is Easter? . . . And Pushing Back On Biblical Illiteracy. . .

The fallout from our culture’s growing reality of biblical illiteracy hit me hard when the day after Easter my daughter-in-law, an athletic trainer at a large suburban high school, shared with me a conversation she witnessed between a group of a dozen student athletes who were in the training room. Everyone was chatting about their... more »