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

Blog

Thoughts on Abuse. . . Dr. Diane Langberg Gets Us Thinking and Acting. . .

Social media has been lighting up this week with responses to the words and actions of several high profile church leaders regarding the matter of abuse. The #metoo movement has put the issue front and center. The church is now dealing with it more directly as we consider the appropriateness/inappropriateness of our responses over the... more »

Teen Loneliness. . . and Youth Ministry. . . .

If ever there was a sad and tragic irony, this is it. The generation that has more social connectivity tools and possibilities at their fingertips (literally), is the loneliest. The research, released today, indicates that young people are more likely than senior citizens to report being lonely and in poor health. And in an especially... more »

Adolescent Suicide. . .Numbers, Prayer, And A Helpful Handout. . .

This morning I’ve been scanning the adolescent suicide numbers in the recently updated “Pain In The Nation” report. The numbers not only reflect the pain among children and teens, but they should be causing us pain as we ponder how to best reach kids with the life-giving message of the Gospel and the life-supporting experience... more »

Youth Ministry and the Bible. . . Paper? Or Digital?

I’ve been having this conversation with youth workers ever since we kicked off our Digital Kids Initiative several years ago. And, because we youth workers have a tendency to jump into the river of what’s trending with little or no pause, this conversation is necessary. The conversations are always spirited when we get to talking... more »

Discipleship of the Mind. . . A Challenge to Youth Workers and Parents. . .

My friend Dick Doster recently wrote a provocative and timely Editor’s Letter that appears in the front of the latest edition of ByFaith magazine. After reading it, I went back and read it two more times. It’s titled “Wise Christians Strive to Become Better Thinkers.” I agree. And wise Christians also strive to raise and nurture... more »

Kids And Smartphone Addiction. . A Helpful Infographic. . .

They were outside in the driveway playing basketball. I saw them last week as I drove through a local neighborhood. Two boys. . . elementary-aged. . . doing what kids everywhere used to do every day after school when the weather was nice. I spotted them as I was driving up the street and I... more »

Redeeming All Things. . . The Day After The Cross. . .

Paul Tripp writes these words about the Cross: “In God’s righteous and wise plan, this dark and disastrous moment was ordained to be the moment that would fix all the dark and disastrous things that sin had done to the world. . . The very worst thing that could happen was at the very same... more »

Redeeming All Things. . . Good Friday. . .

The Biblical story runs like this: Creation – Fall – Redemption – Restoration. And this weekend we celebrate God’s great grace and mercy through His plan of Redemption. The sad reality is that even though Jesus came to redeem all things, we allow so many of those “all things” to busy us to the point... more »

Redeeming All Things. . . Holy Thursday. . .

The Biblical story runs like this: Creation – Fall – Redemption – Restoration. And this weekend we celebrate God’s great grace and mercy through His plan of Redemption. The sad reality is that even though Jesus came to redeem all things, we allow so many of those “all things” to busy us to the point... more »

Ministry Downfalls. . . And The Problem of Me. . .

In years past I would watch the crash-and-burn of others in ministry and simply shake my head. “Should have known better.” “Well, that was easy to see coming.” “I’m sure glad I would never do anything like that!” All that was ignorant foolishness on my part. It was also the kind of thing that Jesus... more »

So, What’s Wrong With Being Self-Centered? . . .

One sunny Labor Day, I had the opportunity to go boating with a group of six high schoolers in the clear blue waters off the coast of Miami. Six of us enjoyed the beautiful weather while swimming and water-skiing off the back end of a pretty impressive boat that belonged to Dave’s father. When it... more »

Appearances Are Everything. . .

It’s pretty simple. . . the mantra for identity these days, that is. It goes like this: I am what I look like and what other people think of what I look like. Its for that reason that I’m glad I’m not growing up in today’s world. I’m not sure how I would have handled it. .... more »

National School Walkout. . . Solutions?

Just like it will happen all over the country, high school and middle students here in our area will be walking out in planned demonstrations today. . .four weeks after the horrible tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Our kids can and should be encouraged to thoughtfully and peacefully express their thoughts and beliefs on this pressing... more »

A Passionate Appeal To Parents. . .

There is a cultural narrative that is catechizing our kids. The classical definition of catechesis is “to instruct orally.” Traditionally, catechesis in the Christian faith took place in the home and the church, with adults asking students a series of questions about the faith, to which they would memorize and recite answers. Regularity and repetition were... more »

For Youth Pastors Who Struggle With Porn. . .

My head is still spinning around the message Gail Dines delivers in her video, “Growing Up In A Pornified Culture”, that I blogged on last week.  Her message is in-your-face, troubling, and oh-so-true. As long as we keep moving in this direction, we are mis-shaping our kids in ways that will have. . . in... more »

Pornography, Cultural Schizophrenia, and a Video That Tells It Like It Is. . . .

Over the course of the last couple of days I’ve had numerous people tell me about an organization that’s addressing pornography as “the public health crisis of the digital age.” I agree with that assessment. . . and was thrilled by the information I found when I logged on to Culture Reframed. As someone who... more »

Post-Parkland Thoughts. . . .

So it’s been one-week since a deeply-troubled and broken soul wreaked havoc on a school in an act that has sent unimaginable ripples of pain and brokenness near (family, friends, community) and far. In the week since, a grieving community has had to endure a series of funerals for lives that ended abruptly and way... more »

Cellphone Addiction. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Tethered to our devices. . . that’s what we are. Do we really need to be this connected to our digital tools. . . especially when our digital tools steal our attention from the people in our lives and noble pursuits? And, what are we doing to keep our kids from going down this habit-forming... more »

Another Tragedy. . . Beginning the Day After. . .

It’s all over the news. . . and it should be. And as is always the case in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after, social media is overflowing with finger-pointing and arguments over solutions. We’ve heard that before, as well. These discussions must be had, for sure. But I would suggest that our first... more »