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

Blog

Michelle Williams, The Golden Globes, Abortion, and Talking To Your Kids. . .

It’s taken a couple of days for me to sort out the mixed bag of thoughts prompted by what happened at the 2020 Golden Globes Awards show last Sunday evening. Embedded in the distribution of trophies were the expected politically-charged statements coming from this year’s lineup of award winners. The words spoken by two celebrities,... more »

My Best Books Of 2019. . . Part 2. . .

As I mentioned in my last post, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is “that time of year” for my annual mention of the some of the best books I read during the prior 12 months. It’s my hope that the books that have impacted me might be picked up... more »

My Best Books Of 2019. . . Part 1. . .

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is “that time of year” for my annual mention of the some of the best books I read during the prior 12 months. It’s my hope that the books that have impacted me might be picked up by others and used to shape, mold,... more »

Resolving To Gain Weight. . . Join Us! . . .

Our habits form us. When those habits lead us deeper and deeper into the things that really matter, we call that spiritual growth and formation. When those habits lead us away from the things that ultimately matter, we call that spiritual deformation. Perhaps the most commonly adopted resolution is to lose weight. But what if... more »

Lord. . . Make Me Hungry. . .

“Fill your well with the Word.” A mantra we must preach to ourselves 24/7. In 1652, Thomas Brooks published an eye-opening book I’ve been working through for a couple of years. . . “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.” It’s been a very helpful read. Just like in sports, we must know our opponent and their... more »

Art, Gender, And Life After God. . . .

I reached way up on a top shelf this morning to pull down a book I haven’t opened for several years. It’s Douglas Coupland’s 1994 Life After God. It was a book that made a huge splash. . . seemingly just yesterday. . . as a collection of stories focused on the angst of a... more »

Christmas Materialism. . . A Pushback. . .

These are the days when we really ramp up our thoughts and desires regarding stuff. I can’t point to any hard and fast data, but I can tell you about the seemingly endless parade of trucks from UPS, FedEx, USPS, and Amazon heading up and down my street as we approach the big day of... more »

Helping Students Recover Christmas. . .

A few years ago, I came to a sad realization about myself: the amazing story of Christmas had become so familiar to me that it was almost as if it didn’t matter much anymore. No, I hadn’t lost my love for God and the Son He sent to redeem the world. But I had lost... more »

A Youth Worker’s Letter To His Students. . . .

Youth workers. . . If you were to write a heart-felt letter to your students, what would you write? Earlier this fall, I had the privilege of teaching a week long class on “Understanding Today’s Youth Culture” for The Coalition For Youth Ministry Excellence in Canada, where our students had to tackle this task. Their... more »

Black Friday Brawls. . . Who We Are And What We Need. . .

Insanity. That’s what we’ve embraced. The time and place of our search for meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and redemption might best be evidenced in how we act during what’s become known as “Black Friday” wherever the deals may lead us. I googled “Black Friday brawls” and more videos than I can count or ever view popped... more »

A Thanksgiving Prayer. . .

If you want to learn how to pray, you should pray with the Puritans. They knew how to pray with depth. Over the years, I’ve been grateful for the little Valley of Vision Puritan prayer book. The words spark the heart in deep, deep ways. I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy. As... more »

Some Thoughts On #NYWC19. . . 5 Things To Do There. . .

In a few minutes I’m headed out the door and on my way to Tampa. Destination. . . The Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention. Hard to believe it’s in its 50th year! I’m looking forward, as always, to being with an enthusiastic and fun-loving group of people who are all about seeing the young... more »

Ok, Boomer. . . An Attitude That Will Rip Us Apart. . .

Youth workers. . . tomorrow you’ll be spending concentrated time with your students. It’s what I think is the greatest job in the world! And as you navigate the difficult and complicated waters of doing youth ministry, you will be prayerfully working to lead kids into life-giving truth while leading them out of the barren... more »

Augustine. . . Dead Guy. . . His Thoughts On Social Media. . .

It’s just a bit more than a week until a few thousand of us gather in Tampa for the 50th National Youth Workers Convention. . . an event I’ve been blessed to be a part of for over three decades. This year, I’ve been asked to speak on one particular aspect of technology. . .... more »

Teens, Christmas Spending, And Faith. . . And A Helpful Infographic. . .

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 »

Roo. . . Planned Parenthood’s 24/7 Sex Educator For Kids. . .

It’s no secret that questions about sex, gender, and love cascade almost endlessly for kids as they launch into the confusing developmental phase of puberty. Along with having bodies that are now able by God’s design to engage in the reproductive process, kids experience a host of God-given sexual urges and feelings that lead to... more »

Teens, Distracted Driving, And A Free Resource For Parents. . .

We’ve got a problem. Any of us who have a smartphone are susceptible to making poor decisions regarding the combination of smartphones and driving. Just last night on the evening news we watched this video, which captures well what happens when a driver takes their eyes off the road in order to look at their... more »

Football’s Lethal Blow To The Head? . . . .

Things got testy at the Massachusetts’ State House in Boston yesterday as a public hearing was held on a possible state bill that would ban tackle football in the state before the 8th grade. Backers of the bill. . . the first of its kind in the United States. . . believe that recent research... more »

Adverse Childhood Experiences. . . What You Need To Know And A Helpful Infographic. . .

A kid is a kid is a kid. . . or so I thought when I first got started in youth ministry. Somehow and some way, I missed the fact that each and every one of these precious image-bearers had a unique story. It wasn’t so much was I saw as I looked into their... more »

Kids & Cyberbullying. . . And A Free Parent Resource. . .

Back in the summer of 2016, 17-year-old teenager Felix Alexander took his own life. Since then, his mother has dedicated her life to helping other parents understand the role that social media plays as the new “playground” for cyber-bullies, and the role cyber-bullying plays in making an already difficult transition from childhood to adulthood that... more »