Monday, February 26, 2007

The Jesus Fascination

If you get a chance record this program on Sunday night. (I may want to borrow it!)

I saw this segment on the Today Show this past week as many of you did. I'm interested in watching and I am also curious about any additional thoughts about this.
In case you missed it there is an archeologist who claims to have found a box that contains that bones of Jesus and of Mary Magdalene. There is a documentary Sunday night, March 4th on the Discovery Channel.

A few thoughts that I'll offer are:
-Why is it that there is a fascination to prove that a) Jesus wasn't real, b)he never really died, and c) he didn't rise from the dead?
-What should our response be when stories like this come out?

Lost Tomb of Jesus

Happy Watching!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I am currently reading HURT: inside the world of today's teenager by Chap Clark. I want to recommend to anyone who has teens, anyone who loves teens, people interested in students or student ministry, individuals wanting to reach younger generations, and those who are interested in influencing people for Christ. That should pretty much cover all of us, huh? You can buy it here.

I love this book and I can't stand this book for several reasons. I love it because of how he approaches youth culture and youth ministry. The book is basically his reflections, research and observations of the American teenager from the perspective of their world. He took an entire semester and with the permission of a high school in California worked as a subsitute teacher for an entire semester. The school allowed him to interview and visit with teachers and students to gather the necessary information for this book. According to Clark this type of research has never been done because usually the "experts" to some type of lengthy questionnaire to get feedback from student about the world they live in.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone who reads this book (and again I want to encourage everyone to read it) but know ahead of time that it may bother you. As I am reading I have been (and plan to continue to) ask students if what I am reading exists in Huntsville. The response so far has been a mixture of "yes" "pretty much" to "yeah, that is happening in our schools, too."

But these aren' the reasons it is bothering me. It is bothering me because it makes me have to think really hard about the youth ministry system that we have created in our churches. Are we making a difference? Are things we do really changing lives? Are students lives different when they graduate? Are they mission minded and getting involved in ministry outside of planned youth ministry events? Are we transforming people?

I think the answer is yes and no. I am not ready to throw it all in and give up because I think a difference is being made. Slowly. But when I read the world that Chap Clark describes it makes more sense why it seems like walking uphill. Students face a much different and much more difficult than ever before. While we all know this inherently, we too often are guilty of thinking that "not much has really since we were in high school. This just isn't true. It has changed dramatically and students face a more difficult struggle in pursuing faith than even before. They are HURT.

Please make plans to read this book. If you already have I would love to hear your thoughts. If you are a student, get ready because I am planning to visit with you about your thoughts as well.

Love you all.


Friday, February 9, 2007

New York New York

After much deliberation Lana and I have decided to go to New York City for our 5 year anniversary in March.

For my 3 friends that read this please give me any and every piece of information you have about NYC. What should we do? There is so much to do how do we know where to spend our time? Places to stay? Restaurants?

We love to travel and are looking forward to doing something a little bit bigger for our 5 year. We seriously have talked about so many places I think both of us are happy to have decided.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

On My Mind.........

First of all let me apologize. It has been a while since my last post and below you'll see some of the reasons why. These things are random and may not even be thought provoking or deep but nevertheless they are on my mind. Enjoy.

Youth Ministry
Youth Ministry is challenging. It seems like everytime I begin to think I have a handle on it I am blown away by something else. Of course this is also the irony because part of the reason I love it is because it is challenging.
Travel and Busyness
The Christmas holiday/first few weeks of January have been exhausting. From December 22nd through January 13th I spent one night in my own home. I vow to NEVER do this again.
The time away involved the ski trip (see the last two post), NCYM in Colorado Springs a Grad School class in Abilene.

NYCM is such a refreshing time of connection with friends in ministry. This year Lana got to go and it was a blast to spend time with her in the snowy mountains of Colorado! We stayed in a resort that was top notch. That didn't hurt our level of satisfaction either!

This has brought me face to face with the reality of how consumed with busyness I am. It has become a god for me that I am currently wrestling with.
The Pacifer and Family
The latest news from home is that we are getting rid of the pacifer. Drew has always been our thumb sucker and Allie Joy has used the pacifer. Whoever said this would only take three days didn't have twins. She has been doing great considering we took away her primary source of comfort for over two years. For about two weeks we reverted back to our sleeping patterns from the first 6 months. She is a tough little girl though and we have had a couple of really good nights recently. I know she is close to figuring it out!

Lana is such a good mom. I am so thankful for the opportunity to partner with her in life and discipling our children. What a blessing!

Drew and Allie Joy turned 2 on January 11 and are talking like crazy. Everyday is new and challenging and refreshing. They are learning to pray and sing and dance. They play great together but are having more moments of getting frustrated with each other. They give the best hugs and kisses. Their laugh cures anything. It is always an adventure and such a blessing!
One of my favorite gifts from Christmas is my ipod. I think it may the most amazing piece of technology in a long time. My favorite element is are podcasts. Don't get me wrong, the music is great. But the podcasts are FREE in most cases. You can listen radio brodcasts, sermons, are contemplative prayer. It is a fun toy but also practical! What a great combo!
One Year Bible
The leadership at our church decided this year that as a body we were going to commit to reading through the Bible. At first, I had my doubts about this but have become overwhelmed by how refreshing my reading has been thus far. I am trying to be committed to just reading. I want to hear what scripture has to say in a new way. I am trying to read it as if I was reading it for the first time. (And in some cases this is true!)

This week I have been overcome with amazement at how much Christians I know are still exactly like the Israelites. Complaining, griping, forgetting how good things were three days ago when we go through something difficult today and even wishing we were back in Egypt at times! God help us!
Things I Love
Here are a list of my new favorite things:

1. Sneezing - I made a decision recently to stop holding in sneezes. It was beginning to hurt. They were not meant to be held in. Let them go, they need and want to get out. It feels so much better to have a huge sneeze than make an annoying noise with your nose because you try to hold it in.

2. Crocs - I got a pair of these from my mom and dad. Dude they are comfortable. A must have! Check out their website here.

3. LOST - I know everyone else has been watching for a while. Lana and I are still catching up. We're on Season 2 but I'm hooked! Well written, decent acting, very intense.

4. White Chocolate Mocha-I recently discovered this as well and it is hands down the best drink at Starbucks.