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

Blog

A Prayer For Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines. . .

Thinking tonight about our hospital and healthcare workers. I know many and have watched some up close over the past couple of weeks. They are having to navigate so many challenges. God bless them. Here is a prayer I wrote to pray for them as they are stretched to their limits. . . Great Physician,... more »

Crisis And Providence. . . A Time For Growth. . .

“What is the Lord doing?” That might be the most-asked question followers of Jesus have been voicing over the last couple of weeks. It’s a good question to ask for several reasons. For one, it recognizes that God is, in fact, in control and at work. We must never forget that reality. And second, it... more »

I Think This Will Sooth Your Soul Today. . .

I woke up this morning to a text message from my buddy Rich Van Pelt. It was a link to a YouTube video (embedded below). I went there to watch and listen. . . and was greatly blessed. Rich had linked to Bob Kauflin’s (Sovereign Grace and GLAD) just-recorded duet with his daughter of the... more »

Youth Workers: Embrace The Pandemic For Viral Ministry To Parents. . .

In times like these, we are given the gift of coming to terms with what really matters. I know that’s happening for me. My habitual daily diversions and idols are getting exposed. . . and that’s a good thing. And when God in His mercy and grace exposes and removes our idols, He also exposes... more »

Wise Words To Share With Kids On Fear. . . From Paul Tripp. . .

Our friend Paul Tripp has ministered to me and so many other youth workers and parents over the years. . . always pointing us to Gospel-truth. . . especially in those moments when we are prone to go elsewhere. My wife Lisa subscribes to Paul’s “Wednesday Word” and just pointed me to today’s entry. It... more »

Thoughts About The Coming Days and Weeks. . .

With many of our regular diversions shut down, the temptation will be to spend the next few weeks running to our other diversions. . . specifically, the triple screens (smartphones, tv, computers) and social media. . . thereby only increasing our growing addiction to each. That’s not a good thing. Is it possible that what... more »

A Little Letter To Parents On Youth Sports. . .

The sun is going down later. Spring is springing. Athletic fields are filled with kids gearing up for participation in a variety of spring sports. Sadly, when the games begin, some of the most discouraging activity will be taking place in the stands and on the sidelines. Perhaps the decline of civility in our culture... more »

Kids, Smartphones, and Pornography. . .

“At what age should I allow my son to have his own smartphone?” Without a doubt, that’s the question I get asked by parents of pre-teen boys and girls more than any other. The question is asked because wise parents who have a clue are aware of two conflicting matters. First, their children are sure... more »

The TikTok Skull-Breaker Challenge. . . What Parents Need To Know. . .

The advent of social media and video-sharing platforms have given kids a new playground on which to engage in risky and impulsive behaviors. Because of where they’re at in the developmental process, kids are prone to act in the now with little or no regard to the possibility of dangerous immediate or long-term consequences. For... more »

Teen Hearing Loss. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

A few weeks ago I raised a growing concern about our children and teens regarding the dangers of hearing loss. I actually contemplated whether youth ministry is at times complicit in undermining the health of our kids when we pump up the volume at our events and gatherings. I sounded (no pun intended) like an... more »

Youth Ministry & No-Phone-Freedom. . . or. . . What Happens When We Shut Down For A Week?. . .

“How do I get my students to put their phones down?” That question started coming from a growing army of youth workers several years ago as I would engage them on the great blessings and difficulties of doing youth ministry in the new and fast-emerging digital age. Since that time, we’ve all become more dependent... more »

Teaching Kids To Get Love Right. . .

Happy Valentine’s Day. Four years ago, as I was eating my breakfast in a hotel lobby, I was reminded that it was the weekend we celebrate love and fill the pockets of the folks at Hallmark. A fifty-something husband enthusiastically called his wife away from the cereal bins and back to the table where he... more »

13-Year-Olds, Smartphones, and Pornography. . .

Last night I finished reading Rachael Denhollander’s sobering book, What Is A Girl Worth?, which tells the story of her courageous leadership in exposing the systemic sexual abuse of young female athletes by Dr. Larry Nassar. I can’t recommend this book enough. For those of us who might be ignorant of the breadth, depth, and... more »

A Woman’s Take On The Super Bowl Halftime Show And Human Dignity. . .

The conversation continues. . . and so it should. . . because these things do indeed matter. (Here’s what I wrote on Monday). And lest you think that all those who care are only singling out the few minutes and participants we saw on Sunday night, that’s not true. What we saw was a brief ... more »

One Way To Reduce Teen Anxiety. . . A Helpful Handout. . .

A few years ago I jumped into the world of teen anxiety. I heard the first person stories. I listened to parents, youth workers, and educators lament what was happening with the kids they know and love. I looked at the growing body of research that’s out there on the issue. And, I consulted with... more »

Shakira, JLo, and The NFL. . . Thoughts On Halftime. . .

I’m really not sure how to put into words the cascade of thoughts, confusion, concern, and sadness that began last night shortly after Shakira took the Super Bowl Halftime stage. . .  and which have continued up to this moment. My years in youth ministry and culture-watching have, I hope, been marked by growing skills... more »

The Super Bowl Ads. . . A 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:... more »

Kobe Byrant And Necessary Thoughts. . .

The reality and shock of death visited me for the first time when I was seven-years-old. Our President was gunned down and suddenly died. I remember how my young mind raced to make sense of it all. We were glued to the television. Two days later, the reality of death hit again when the President’s... more »

One-Minute A Day For Youth Workers & Parents. . . CPYU’s Best-Kept Secret. . .

With youth culture changing at breakneck speed, it’s difficult to stay up-to-date. One way to stay educated, encouraged, and equipped to respond is to track with our daily one-minute Youth Culture Today podcast! It all began as a daily radio spot on hundreds of stations across North America starting back in 2004. You can still listen... more »

Boundaries For Youth Workers. . .

Over the course of my years in youth ministry I’ve learned many things the hard way. . . either by watching myself or observing friends. One of the lessons I’ve learned is just how important it is for a youth worker to set boundaries. The fact is, we’re in a spiritual battle where the hearts... more »