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

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Sports Parents. . . Who Will You Be? . . .

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 »

Wanted: Mentors. . . Dead Or Alive. . .

It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but the greatest leaders are focused on following. They exercise and develop wisdom when they seek out and learn from wise and experienced mentors. Sadly, in our day and age of chronological snobbery where we’ve come to believe that the shelf-life of people is about the same as that of... more »

Youth Ministry and the Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. . .

Note: This is the week when Carl Trueman’s new book, “Strange New World”, is released. It’s the shortened version of his previous book, “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.” At Carl Trueman’s request, the folks at 9Marks asked me to offer a response to this latter book specifically related to youth ministry. That... more »

Bleacher Theology. . . Some Thoughts on Kids, Parents, and Sports. . .

This morning, I was sitting and looking at the pictures here in my basement hideout. Pictures of my kids. . . now all grown. I started rifling through some photos of them all on my computer, including shots of all of them at various ages on a variety of athletic fields. I also looked at... more »

God’s Plan For Sex & Gender: 10 Teaching Points For Home and Church. . .

Our children and teens are being educated on matters of sex and gender by a current cultural narrative that engages in 24/7 messaging, even to children as young as pre-school age. This education – or more accurately mis-education – takes God’s good gifts of sex and gender and distorts them in ways that undo God’s grand and... more »

A Prayer When Getting Dressed. . .

We do it everyday. We get dressed. Our children and teens do it as well. When they are little, we help our children get dressed. And something I read over the weekend issued a challenge to turn the simple, daily and almost thoughtless routine of getting dressed into an opportunity to pray. . . both... more »

Providence In A Time Of War . . . CPYU’s Free Tool For Teaching Your Kids. . .

What questions are your kids verbalizing and pondering as they hear about and process the war in Ukraine? How are they responding to the humanitarian crisis, the fighting, and the knowledge that these things are not just something that happens somewhere else, but which could very well sometime happen here? When crisis hits, our thinking... more »

Is The News Making Your Kids. . . And You. . . Afraid? . . .

Truth be told. . . the news of recent days has rattled me. It has rattled me for the people of the Ukraine and all others who are being touched in unimaginable ways by this conflict. It has rattled me for my children and grandchildren as I remember my own childhood and living under the... more »

Acting For The Ukraine. . .

As the unimaginable continues to unfold in the Ukraine, the call for those of us distant from the situation is not a call to virtue signaling, but to any kind of tangible action we can take. I trust that we are teaching our kids to do the same. Yes, it’s good to be aware and... more »

Kintsugi and Kids. . . An Amazing Metaphor of Grace. . .

When I first read about Kintsugi, I was blown away, overwhelmed, and filled with joy about the work of restoration God does in our lives. I had never heard of Kintsugi until I read Mary Elizabeth Podles’ article on the Kintsugi bowl in the September/October 2021 edition of Touchstone Magazine (which, by the way, I... more »

Four Words Of Life. . . Four Words Of Death. . .

A few years ago, a prominent Christian leader suggested that followers of Jesus living in today’s world would do well to “untether” themselves from the Old Testament. If I had followed that advice, I would have not only jettisoned a significant portion of the canon of Scripture, but I would have untethered myself from the... more »

GAYLE’s “abcdefu” – A Pop Music Discipleship Tool. . .

What is 17-year-old music sensation GAYLE teaching to our kids? What is 17-year-old music sensation GAYLE teaching us about our kids? Those are two very important questions that we’ve always been passionate about answering here at CPYU regarding any pop music or media that’s gained traction in contemporary youth culture. As we always say, music... more »

Kids, Parents, & Smartphone Addiction. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Later this morning I’m headed into the CPYU studio to interview tech expert and author Chris Martin for an upcoming episode of our Youth Culture Matters podcast. Chris has written a fantastic new book, Terms of Service: The Real Cost of Social Media. I’m excited to chat with Chris as he’s doing the kind of thinking about... more »

Helping Kids Understand Love. . .

Happy Valentine’s Day! A few 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... more »

The Super Bowl and Glory-Seeking. . .

Super Bowl Sunday. It’s here. Most of us will be watching. Yes, it’s the game that is the culmination of the long NFL season where remaining team will be crowned this year’s best. But its so much more than that. For four to five hours beginning early this evening, viewers will be showered with a... more »

Will The Super Bowl Teach Kids On-Field Arrogance? . . .

We’ve watched lots of sports in our house. Chances are, your family has done the same. And like you (most likely), we’ll be watching along in two days as the Bengals meet the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. As we always do, we’ve been getting ready for the big game here at CPYU. Why? It’s... more »

Let’s Get Ready For Halftime! . . .

Get ready for this year’s “Pepsi Halftime Show.” It’s become such a big deal that many viewers hush the room and call everyone to attention when the first two-quarters of play end and the halftime show gets ready to begin.  Could it be that the game plays second-fiddle as a kind of after-thought to all... more »

Youth Workers And The Super Bowl: A Ministry Idea And Resource. . .

Well. . . here we go again! For many, next week’s Super Bowl won’t be about the big game, but about the advertising. The previews and teasers for the ads are starting to drop. . . yep, we have so bought into the importance of the ads that we now run preview ads for ads!... more »

A Light-Hearted Look At Teenagers. . .

Last week I was in Nashville to speak at the Reformed Youth Ministries Youth Leader Training event. Along with catching up with old friends and the joy of making new connections, I was introduced to the music of Andy Gullahorn. My friends at RYM brought in Gullahorn to sing for us after dinner. When I... more »

A Sunday “Something To Think About”. . .

On this day established and set apart by God for worship and rest, here are some wise words from Bernard of Clairvaux to read and ponder. . . “God alone can satisfy our desires. A man with a lovely wife may still look lustfully at an attractive woman. A well-dressed person wants more expensive clothes.... more »