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

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Where Will Our Kids Find Identity?

In the quest to discover and adopt an identity, the teenagers you know and love are looking for answers to questions such as: Am I worthwhile? What makes me worthwhile? How am I unique from others? Are those uniqueness’ good or bad? What makes me special? And most importantly, who am I? In a perfect... more »

I’m 4, transgender, and you’re not allowed to tell my parents! . . .

I have two grandchildren who are four-years-old. I can tell you this with full assurance: if those two were left to themselves, their chances of survival would diminish. At the very least, their lives would constantly be in great danger. It frightens me to even think about them trying to meet their basic needs and... more »

Saving Kids From The New Moral Math. . .

If our children came home from school, day-after-day, and we asked them “What did you learn?”. . . and they would answer, day-after-day “I learned that two plus two is five”, we would be diligent about correcting them. We’d also be wise to put them in another school. As the school of life catechizes our... more »

What’s Your Youth Ministry Goal This Year? . . .

Okay. . . . this one might get me in some trouble. And it’s all because I’m increasingly convinced that we’re doing something wrong in youth ministry. . . and perhaps in ministry in general. We’ve been chugging along thinking that we’ve been doing it right. As a result, we continue to do it wrong... more »

As I Promised. . . A FREE Lil Nas X 3(D) Resource Download. . . “Montero”. . .

Last week I posted some initial thoughts the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards and Video Of The Year Award going to Lil Nas X for his song, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. If you missed initial thoughts, you can read them here. Since last week, I’ve been listening to, watching, and engaging with the... more »

Hey Kids. . . Let Your Heart Be Your Guide. . . Nope. . .

Generally speaking, I have regrets about the times I let my emotions take the reins from my brain. I’m also thankful for the times when God would graciously intervene in some miraculous way to derail my emotions and save me from utter disaster. . . kind of like that familiar movie scene where someone steps... more »

Lil Nas X and the VMA Video of the Year. . . Is This Who We Are? . . .

MTV’s Video Music Awards happened last night. Did you happen to watch? I didn’t. The annual show used to be must-viewing for me. When MTV was relevant and the internet was either non-existent or nowhere near as pervasive as it is today, the VMAs were an annual prompt for me to hunker down, watch with... more »

Defining “Love” . . . .

A corrective to our culture’s mis-definition and misunderstanding of “love”, from C.S. Lewis: “Love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; the state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” One... more »

Youth Culture Insights. . . The Dopamine Hit and Addictions. . .

What new challenges do our kids face in today’s world. . . challenges that undermine their human flourishing? What must parents and youth workers know about these challenges so that we might address them. . . countering them in ways that lead to deepened discipleship and the advancement of human flourishing? Those questions. . .... more »

The Newest Online Dare: The Milk Crate Challenge. . .

“I dare you. . . !” I can’t tell you how many times those words were uttered among my circle of adolescent peers during the years when we were going through middle school, high school, and college. The dictionary defines a dare as defying or challenging someone to do something that proves their courage. Our dares... more »

What’s New At School? Reading, Writing, and Gender Education. . .

Middle School. They tore mine down a few years ago. In some ways I was sad to see it go. But as a monument to our shared pre-teen and early-pubescent vulnerabilities and insecurities, seeing that school reduced to rubble was a good reminder that the difficulties of those days was temporary, and we were able... more »

Read With Us! An Invitation To Spiritual Growth. . .

“What are you reading?” That’s a question I love to ask as I’m always looking for books that might enhance my own spiritual walk and/or my knowledge of faith and culture. Sometimes, I’m just looking to read for enjoyment or to widen my knowledge about someone or something. For the last couple of years, I’ve... more »

A Back-To-School Prayer For Our Kids. . .

School is starting. This year, some of our kids are heading to a building.  Others are going to school online. Still others are being home-schooled out of necessity or by choice. I love looking at all the first-day-of-school pictures that are popping up on social media. Because I remember taking many of those photos myself.... more »

Youth Ministry’s Transgender Moment. . . Some Helps. . .

As the school year gets started and we begin another season of youth ministry, the kids will be coming back. And they will be bringing with them, more than ever before, a host of unfolding beliefs and behaviors on sexuality and gender that most of us have never had to think about or address as... more »

Counter-Cultural Guidance As You Head Off To Worship Today. . .

Thought for today as you head off to worship. . . whether you are listening, teaching, or preaching. . . “If leaders and teachers are just ‘stewards of God’s mysteries,’ then there’s no such thing as a ‘great Bible teacher’ or a ‘great Christian speaker,’ however much we may want to imply the contrary in... more »

Is Love A Feeling Or A Decision?

My teenage self couldn’t grasp or even imagine what my Dad told me over and over again. At the time, my attraction to the opposite sex was marked by overwhelming feelings. My dad, in the spirit of “ruining everything” 😉 made it clear that what I was feeling was “infatuation” . . . something the dictionary... more »

Lewis on Marriage and Sexuality. . .

“The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism – for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English. . . The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and... more »

New Forms Of Body Dysmorphia and Disordered Eating. . .

Perhaps the best way for me to state it is like this: If my grandmothers were ugly, they didn’t know it. I know that the statement sounds a bit crude and harsh, but I don’t remember either of them being terribly concerned or obsessed about how they looked. I don’t remember the other people in... more »

Wisdom Or Foolishness? . . . Reflections On A Condo Collapse. . .

It’s been just a couple days over a month since the Champlain Condo that sat beachside in Surfside, Florida crumbled to the ground in just a matter of seconds. When I heard and then saw the news early on the morning of June 24th, my heart sank. It was horrifying to look at and then... more »

Youth Sports. . . Fostering Or Limiting Spiritual Growth? . . .

When I read the Bible, I sometimes find myself shaking my head in disbelief as I ponder stories that reveal the absolute stupidity of God’s people. For example, this morning I was reading in the Old Testament book of Judges about Gideon and the people of Israel. . . God’s chosen people. . . who... more »