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

Blog

Praying For Our Healthcare Workers. . .

Thinking today about our hospital and healthcare workers. They are having to navigate so many challenges. God bless them. Here is a prayer I wrote to pray for them as they are stretched to their limits. . . Great Physician, we thank you for the wide variety of gifts and abilities you bestow upon your... more »

Parents & Teen Body Changes. . .

Editor’s note: This post is reprinted from the lead article in our January 2021 CPYU Parent Page. . . a monthly subscription resource available for youth workers to distribute to parents in efforts to encourage, educate, and equip them for the task of hope-filled Christian parenting. To learn more about the CPYU Parent Page and to subscribe,... more »

The Strange Case of Antonio Brown. . .

Perhaps you, like me, were left scratching your head as you watched whatever NFL game you were tuned in to on Sunday when one of those “Game Breaks” featured a video clip and report of more strange shenanigans from the Tampa Bay Bucs’ Antonio Brown. Pads, jersey, and helmet off right in the middle of... more »

Youth Workers. . . Something To Do In 2022. . .

This morning, once again, the rich and meaningful words of a long-dead saint hit me hard. The words were written by Richard Baxter way back in 1656 in his classic work, The Reformed Pastor. Baxter’s book was titled as it was not as a defense of pastoring in the Reformed theological tradition, but rather as a... more »

Confronting The Lie Of Christmas. . .

I believed it would change my life. Even though I began my impatient wait for its arrival sometime in September, it usually arrived in our mailbox at 1162 Beverly Road a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Its shiny full-color pages consumed my thoughts and attention for weeks. I ignored the first two-thirds of the book. Those... more »

“All I Need For Christmas” – Help For Parents & Youth Workers. . .

I was probably about 15 years-old when I finally got to the point where I knew not to use the word incorrectly in front of my dad. Slip-ups always seemed to result in a repeat performance of his well-rehearsed lecture on the difference between requirements and desires. The word I’m referring to is need. If your... more »

Rachel’s Pastoral Letter To Her Students. . .

For the last month I’ve been pacing myself through a process which most professors lament: grading. Earlier this fall, I spent a week teaching three dozen graduate and undergraduate students in a youth culture class offered through The Coalition For Youth Ministry Excellence program founded by my dear friend, Marv Penner. This resulted in a... more »

The Push-Back For My Apathetic Christmas. . .

This will be my 66th. Christmas, that is. If anyone needs proof of the sad and deplorable fact that “familiarity breeds apathy” . . . look no further than me this time of year. I’m ashamed that it’s this way. Like everything else in our broken and messed up world, this is certainly not the... more »

Youth Ministry as a Money-Maker. . .

Titling this blog-post was a challenge. . . and I’m still looking for something better than what I’ve used. But regardless of the title, there’s an issue common to all of us in ministry that requires a good dose of conscious-thought, honest self-evaluation, and healthy response. It has to do with how easily our good... more »

A Male Youthworker’s Guide To Winter 2021 Fashion Cool. . .

I’m thinking today about fashion. . . men’s fashion in particular. According to some members of my family, I might want to start thinking more often about men’s fashion. . . but that’s another conversation that won’t be had any time in the near future! Today, its one of my students. . . a young... more »

A Prayer For Thanksgiving. . .

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 we enter... more »

November 22nd. . . Kennedy, Huxley, & Lewis in 1963. . . and a Good Word From Crystal Kirgess Now. . .

When I woke up this morning I looked at the date and immediately my mind rewound and settled on this day in 1963. November 22 is always a significant day for me. . . . sparking thoughts of the past and the future. Because of the nature of what I study through CPYU, I oftentimes... more »

Youthworkers. . . 2 Free Thanksgiving Resources To Give To Parents This Weekend. . .

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, we’ve put together two free resources for parents that youth workers can download and print out. . . then pass out in preparation for family gatherings. First, we’ve got a brand new Family TableTalk devotional on giving thanks that can be used at the Thanksgiving table. It’s all about... more »

A Big Day Here At CPYU. . .

Good morning friends! Today is a day when I let you know about ways that we can partner together in ministry. As a donor-supported non-profit ministry, it’s the financial and prayer support of a growing army of friends which allows us to continue to resource youth workers, parents, and churches with up-to-date information and analysis... more »

Looking At Porn With Eyes Wide Open. . . .

I recently completed a stretch of speaking in six different settings in six different places over the course of nine days. As we travel to different churches to raise awareness and hopeful Gospel-centered responses to today’s youth culture, I typically field requests from parents and youth workers to give what insights I can into whatever... more »

Youthworkers Need To Know. . . Adverse Childhood Experiences. . .

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 »

Thoughts Prompted By Halloween. . .

When I got up this morning I realized that today is Halloween. I thought back to our time living in the beautiful town of Salem, Massachusetts and how it came alive with crowds of visitors on this day every year. Yesterday, I was telling someone that much of one of the now-classic Halloween films, Hocus-Pocus,... more »

Perspectives On Suffering? . . .

I saw an expression of the gnawing truth about suffering a few years ago on a visit to a very dark place. A young man who had recently come to faith wanted to introduce me to some friends who were spinning their wheels in the black hole of depression and spiritual death. They “ministered” to... more »

Where Will Our Kids Find Identity?

In the quest to discover and adopt an identity, the teenagers you know and love are looking for answers to questions such as: Am I worthwhile? What makes me worthwhile? How am I unique from others? Are those uniqueness’ good or bad? What makes me special? And most importantly, who am I? In a perfect... more »

I’m 4, transgender, and you’re not allowed to tell my parents! . . .

I have two grandchildren who are four-years-old. I can tell you this with full assurance: if those two were left to themselves, their chances of survival would diminish. At the very least, their lives would constantly be in great danger. It frightens me to even think about them trying to meet their basic needs and... more »