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

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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 »

Words From A Mug Shot. . . A Youth Worker Speaks. . .

Another day, another tragic youth worker story in the news feed. This time it hits closer to home as a 35-year-old husband and father of five children was arrested here in Pennsylvania for impregnating a 15-year-old girl from his youth group. Two weeks ago today I blogged on another one of the many stories like... more »

The Developing Teen 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 Kim Kardashian Robbery Talk. . .

To be honest, every time Kim Kardashian or her husband move center stage to pontificate through words, tweets, and/or photos, I will look for a split-second. . . and then quickly put my attention elsewhere. For one, it’s typically more of the same that we’ve heard over and over before. Second, I see them as... more »

When Youth Workers Become Mug Shots. . . .

A few years ago my friends at Youth Specialties asked me to put together a new seminar for the National Youth Workers Convention. It was titled “Wisdom for a Young Youth Worker.” I came up with my list of things that someone had told me when I was young and just starting out in youth... more »

A Parents’ Guide To Pokemon Go. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

I was off the grid for a couple of weeks in July when Lisa and I stopped for lunch at a Chick-Fil-A just off the interstate in South Carolina. While standing in line the young twenty-something guy in front of us was moving his phone around erratically, all the while focusing on the backsides of... more »

Post-Debate Thoughts. . . .

Not much sleep last night. In the midst of the uneasiness sparked by pondering where we’re at, how we got here, and what the future holds, I tried to put it all as best I could within the context of the larger story that’s been unfolding since the creation of the world. I thought about... more »

Dear Dad. . . A Powerful Letter From a Young Athlete Who Wants to Quit. . .

This is one of those things that has to be passed on to others. It’s just too important to ignore. It comes from the Changing the Game Project, an organization created to essentially redeem youth sports, putting the “play” back into games and letting the games be about the kids. . . not the parents,... more »

Nomophobia. . . Got It? A Helpful Infographic. . .

New stuff means new words. The folks at the Oxford Dictionary release a list of new dictionary entries (as well as those that have been eliminated) every year. Recently. . . and not surprisingly. . . a host of new terms they’ve included are related to the assimilation of new technologies into our lives. Sadly, as... more »

Antonio Brown. . . Are We All Twerkers?!? . . .

Outlandish, over-the-top celebrations in pro football are nothing new. No, they weren’t always “a part of the game.” And, the nature of the outlandish-over-the-topness has evolved (or perhaps “devolved”) over the years. But these displays have been around long enough for folks my age to have had a lifetime of opportunities to use them as teachable... more »

Youth Ministry and Parents. . . Thoughts As You Kick Off The Year. . .

A Facebook post I spotted this morning got me thinking. A youth worker was asking his ministry peers for ideas on what he could address during this week’s annual meeting with parents. What caught my attention was his use of the word annual. That word, when combined with parent meeting, once got me in big trouble. The... more »

A Little Message For Youth Workers On Broken Kids. . . And Some Things I’d Do Differently. . .

In his bestselling book Season of Life, Jeffrey Marx follows a season of high school football at Baltimore’s Gilman School. At the cookout following the team’s first preseason scrimmage, one of the moms approached head coach Biff Poggi to ask how successful he thought the boys were going to be. “I have no idea,” Biff... more »

Colin Kaepernick. . . Some Thoughts. . .

He certainly has people talking. And whether you like what Colin Kaepernick has been up to or not, I think that what he’s been up to is worth talking about. If nothing else, the 49er’s quarterback and one-hundred-fourteen-million-dollar man has provided us with a catalyst for what could be some good teachable moments with our... more »

Self-Injury. . . The Scream On The Skin. . .

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 »