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

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The Latest On Teen Drug Use. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

I’ve never met a parent who says, “I want my child to grow up to abuse drugs.” There are, however, many twisted individuals making millions of dollars off of their pursuit of the desire to promote addiction. And for too many kids, a variety of cultural, situational, developmental, and personal realities combine to lead to decisions... more »

A Little Exercise In Priorities. . . Football vs. Family. . .

The NFL Playoffs are in full-swing. Last Sunday night, a friend who’s here in the U.S. from her home in Northern Ireland landed in Boston just before dinner. The friends who met her at Logan stopped for dinner at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Have you ever eaten there? You don’t just eat. You watch. The walls... more »

The Great Slip-Up. . . And Satanic Exposition. . .

This morning, I was reminded of a short-yet-thick and significant thought from Os Guinness that captures a mistake that we so easily make and must constantly/consciously work to avoid. Consider the perils of living by the latter-half of what Guinness writes, “Either we conform our desires to the truth or we conform the truth to... more »

Pornography And The Brain. . .

This morning I got up early to head south to Daytona Beach. I’m spending the next couple of days with a group of youth workers talking about significant trends in youth culture. This afternoon, I will be speaking about pornography’s growing and pervasive influence in our culture. For some reason, my mind wandered back to... more »

A Prayer For Year’s End. . .

While they often get a bad rap, the Puritans sure knew how to pray. For several years now, the Puritans have taken me deeper in prayer as I’ve found a friend in the Puritan prayer book, The Valley of Vision. Heart-yearnings that I can’t put into words or that I never knew existed rise up when... more »

Marketing As Map And Mirror. . . Three Ads To Deconstruct Christianly. . .

Nobody ever asked me, but if they did happen to challenge me to come up with a first-thought one-word response to the word marketing, I would probably respond with either powerful or pervasive. It’s both, and with experts estimating that the average American encounters between 4,000 and 10,000 marketing messages a day, we’d better realize that because it’s designed... more »

Kids, Christmas, and Too Much Stuff. . .

Because we live in the most affluent nation on earth, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that accumulation of stuff is the pathway to fulfillment and redemption. Sadly, what most people never discover is that what we thought would bring satisfaction doesn’t. Instead we’re left only wanting more. I think about this... more »

Distracted Teen Drivers. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Why did I care so much about my kids and their driving habits when they first got their licenses? Well. . . simple answer is that I remember many of the risks I took when I was first out on the road by myself (sorry Mom and Dad!). Inexperience, adolescent impulsivity, smartphones, and that “nothing... more »

Teens And Bad Decisions. . . A Practical Simple Strategy. . .

This morning, I logged on to my Google News Feed and checked out the stories that came up with the key words “Teen,” “Teenager,” “Adolescent,” and “Adolescence.” Sadly, the news that pops up is usually less than positive. Today, however, it was even worse than that. Here’s a sampling of the headlines that caught my... more »

Teens And Online Safety. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

We stumbled on this helpful infographic that’s worth passing on to parents. It’s all about some of the deeper and darker corners of the online world. No, we don’t believe that technology, social media, and the internet are inherently evil and unredeemable. But we do believe that parents and youth workers need to be diligent... more »

Ditch The Phones. . . A Thanksgiving Table Challenge. . .

Alone together. . . is that what every member of your family will be tomorrow? Parents, this is for you. Youth workers, this is for you to pass on to the families you know and love. Can we just ditch the phones when we’re gathered together tomorrow and have a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving? One where... more »

On Millennials. . . Fascinating, Frightening, and In Need of Response. . .

The other day, I stumbled on this video featuring the thoughts of Simon Sinek on Millennials in the workplace. It’s gutsy, insightful, and worth pondering. While Sinek and I might not share the same foundational worldview, there’s a good deal of healthy overlap here. That’s why I think this one’s worth your time. Take note... more »

A Little Prayer About Seduce-Ability. . .

We are all highly susceptible. . . and we need to recognize this reality. Proverbs warns us about just staying on guard. . . all the time. . . against the efforts. Proverbs chapter 7 offers a sobering warning against it. Today’s cultural landscape is fertile ground for seduction. In yesterday’s entry in Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers,... more »

A Brief Day-After-The-Election Thought. . . .

Yesterday began and ended no differently than all other days since “in the beginning.” While the names in the program and the circumstances of life constantly change, the Author of Life is still in control. And, His providences continue to be just what we need in order to become just what He wants us to become. I... more »

A Brief Election-Eve Thought. . .

Today begins and tomorrow will end no differently than all other days since “in the beginning.” While the names in the program and the circumstances of life constantly change, the Author of Life will still be in control. And, His providences will be just what we need in order to become just what He wants... more »

Pre-Election Day Musings. . .

Last night I spent some time with one of my sons and one of my grandsons. It was simply a short time together with two people I love very much. As I watched the not-yet-two-year-old running around, my brain rewound to his dad’s time at that age. Only a blink ago for me. Hard to believe.... more »

How To Process Stress With Kids. . . A Helpful Video and Free Download. . .

Last week Time Magazine put it all out there on their cover. They decided to address the very real, destructive, and sometime deadly problem of teen stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s a big deal, for sure. Consequently, we need to be learning, discussing, preventing, and addressing the issue. What, if anything, are you already doing? Shortly after... more »

Kids Lost In The World. . . A Powerful New Music Video. . .

Every now and then someone sends me a message that leaves me speechless. That happened last week when Facebook friend Greg Lee, a youth pastor in Stockbridge, Georgia, sent me a link to a new music video from Moby. Remember him? Well, he’s got a new album out and it offers some social commentary that... more »

Marketing, Cool, and Role Models Who Influence. . .

Earlier this week we ran a “Youth Culture Today” radio spot on the marketing of cool. Little did we know that the night before 60 Minutes was going to run an eye-opening segment on how young social media starts attain fame and fortune, all while influencing vulnerable young kids to do the same. It’s brilliant marketing. But... more »

CoverGirl’s Cover Boy. . . A Sign Of The Times. . .

I’m still processing and working to deconstruct/understand what’s behind the tectonic cultural shifts that have set the table for last week’s social media saturation announcing CoverGirl’s enlistment of their first ever Cover Boy. James Charles is a 17-year-old high school senior who has developed quite a YouTube and Instagram following thanks to his online glammy... more »