LEARNING MY LINES . . .

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

God's Story artwork

Fact Is. . . Parenting Isn’t Easy

I learned a shocking lesson shortly after my oldest daughter Caitlin’s birth, and I relearned it almost every day of my experience as the father of four kids. No matter how much time and effort we put into preparing for…
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Youthworkers: Be Trained Well!

We have to get this right! We are called to a higher standard because we lead and teach vulnerable young hearts and minds. Scripture continually speaks of the high calling and responsibility given to leaders. I find it personally humbling…
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Taylor Swift’s Latest Map and Mirror

I was already spending my week thinking deeply about music when a friend texted me yesterday to suggest that I give a listen to Taylor Swift’s just-released latest, starting with the song “Guilty As Sin”. . . which is titled…
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This Youth Ministry Teachable Moment

While chatting with a dear and trusted youth ministry friend last evening, we were trying to make sense of the day’s news regarding the downfall of more of our own. There was a kind of accountability taking place in our…
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Is Mercy More Powerful Than Murder?

Forgiveness is easier said than done. I was thinking about that again this morning as I watched the news reports on yesterday’s sentencing of the parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley. Both parents read statements to the court and…
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Parenting’s Priority One. . .

This morning, I read this hard-hitting quote from Voddie Baucham: “If I teach my son to keep his eye on the ball, but fail to teach him to keep his eyes on Christ, I have failed as a father.” If…
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It Is Finished. . .

Good Friday. . . thank you Jesus. As we grapple with the glorious and almost incomprehensible meaning of today, spend time looking at this David Arms painting that’s in our house. Arms writes this about his painting “Free”: The cross frees us from bondage…
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Easter Weekend and Teen Anxiety

During yesterday’s conversation over coffee with friends, I was asked a very general question about kids, parents, and parenting in today’s world. The conversation quickly turned to how new ways of parenting (think “helicopter”, “lawnmower”, “snowplow”, etc.) have done little…
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Thoughts on Holy Week and the Cross

Easter week has gotten better as I’ve gotten older. In fact, as I’ve gotten older life has gotten worse in many respects, thus leading to new experiences of the joy of Holy Week and all that it means. When I…
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Just Jesus?

Truth be told, I get a bit nervous when I hear a youth worker say that the goal of their youth ministry is to “just bring people to Jesus.” I don’t question the intentions. I don’t question the fact that…
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Decision-Making and our Kids

This morning, I logged on to my Google News Feed and checked out the stories that came up with the key words “Teen,” “Teenager,” “Youth”, “Adolescent,” and “Adolescence.” Sadly, the news that pops up is usually less than positive. While…
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