About Me

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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some Christmas Cheer!

Just to make you smile:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On Marraige and Divorce

Marriage saves lives, while divorce harms the environment:

We could all extol the benefits of marriage and the consequences of divorce but I was surpsised today by these two articles that appeared side by side on Yahoo's front page this morning. One article says that not only is divorce bad, it is bad for the environment! Then right below that was a link to an ABC video (from Good Morning America, video is on the top right conrner) and a news article about how a wedding ring saved a man's life by deflecting a bullet.

I love the quote from the guy who was shot when he said "I know being married was a good thing, I just didn't know it was that good." And his wife follows up with "I think its a good lesson for men out there to learn: That its a good idea to wear that ring--it could come in handy sometime."

Here is a great quote on marriage from Alfred Adler:
"We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men or women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important tasks of life do we arrange such a "getaway." We cannot love and be limited."

or the more pessimistic view stated by Socrates always makes me laugh:
"My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher."

And for the simply humorous from Rita Rudner:
"I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry."

For the pragmatic:
"I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each other's gaps." --Rocky Balboa

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reveal

If you are in church leadership you need to watch this video called Reveal created by Willow Creek based on research they have done in 31 congregations across the country totaling over 20,000 people. They started asking questions not just based on numbers and participation but deeper questions about their success rate at creating disciples and helping church members develop intimacy with Christ as exampled by people who categorized their relationship with Christ as their top priority and lived as people that demonstrated both a heart for God and a heart for people.

This is a teaser video found on youtube, to see the extended 13 minute video go here. (Which I recommend)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ask Anything

Pastor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle have created a website called Ask Anything. At the ask anything site you can ask your questions and/or vote on your favorite questions that you would like to see Mark answer. At the end of the year they will calculate the top 9 questions and he will preach a series based on those questions. I think this is an interesting and creative way to "stump the pastor" as it has been called for years.

As the Student Pastor at my church I have been curious ever since I read in one of Mark's books where he stated that Mars Hill would never have a youth group but then said he changed his mind and create a student ministry at Mars Hill. So I asked him my question. I wanted to share with you the opportunity to ask your own question but, even-more-so, selfishly ask you to vote for my question.

In recent months there has been much discussion on whether or not student ministry in the American Church is successful, necessary, or even biblical. Therefore I wanted to know why and how a pastor like Mark Driscoll known for his reformed and conservative theological views would change his mind on this issue. If you are curious as well, maybe you are a youth pastor yourself, consider voting for my question up to 10 times a day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

College Coach attacks media, defends good kid

Wow! I really don't know what to say. This video is powerful and impressive.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Gospel in 6 Minutes

The Gospel in 6 Minutes is a presentation created by John Piper and his Desiring God Ministries. This is multifaceted in its scope and use, text, audio, and video all accessible on the web. The presentation is clear, precise and succinct.



[Thanks to the Rabbi for pointing me here first.]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

How an email message travels around the world

Gmail asked Gmail account holders to help them imagine how an email message travels around the world. All it took was a video camera, the Gmail M-velope ( ), and some creativity. Someone sifted through all the entries and compiled a final version of the collaborative effort. Here it is, along with a link to all the submissions on Youtube.

11 Guys At The Playground

Thanks to Bob Sturm of BAD Radio on 1310 the Ticket for this one. They talked about this video on the Ticket today and I knew I had to check it out. If you ever played a pick-up game at your neighborhood court, local gym, even in church league then you have at one point in time run into everyone of these guys. Enjoy the video.


11 Guys At The Playground - Watch more free videos

Band of Horses

If you don't know Band of Horses, well then you don't know bands or horses and that just makes me a sad, sad audio-equistrian-o-phile. So do me and you and Band of Horses a favor and go to their myspace where you can download their new single, hear other tunes, and pre-order their new disc about to be released on Subpop.

Gotta Love the French!


French Army Knife

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Implications?

Watch this video of Malcolm Gladwell, auther of The Tipping Point and Blink. Then discuss if you believe his talk has any implications for church life and missional living.

Fun with Youtube

I found these on Youtube and I believe I should subject you to them as well. Enjoy?:

Superfriends vs. Friends


Ghetto Man Roasts the Superfriends


[Note: This is a clip from a show that did not last very long (for obvious reasons) but some of the others are worth checking out as well.

Check out this if you are interested in spoofs of the famously overdone "Wassup" commercials for Bud. There is Jewish Wassup, Superfriends Wassup and Transformers Wassup to name a few.

Johnny Burnette performing "Lonesome Train" (every day is better with a little Rockabilly)


Introduce yourself to James McMurtry if you haven't already with the video for "Levelland" and then do yourself a real favor and go hear his song about Texoma (North Texas/Southern Oklahoma) called "Choctaw Bingo." (Warning: 'Choctaw' contains naughty language). While you are at it check out The Notorious Cherry Bombs, Robert Earl Keen, and Townes Van Zandt (through this tribute from Emmylou Harris, Willie, and Steve Earl playing Townes' songs on Austin City Limits).

I will leave you with an incredible clip from a documentary about Gram Parsons. If you don't know Gram Parsons then that just breaks my heart. So here you go:

Monday, August 27, 2007

D.A. Carson's Personal(?) Blog

You really really need to check out this blog: The Secret Diary of D.A. Carson. Check it out if you know who D.A. Carson is. IF not it still applies if you know such figures as Paige Patterson or John Piper, or if you study the New Testament, or ever went to Bible College or Seminary.

Trust me it's just for grins and giggles but we need those sometimes. Or at least I do.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Listen to your iTunes Library anywhere?

Does that sound crazy? Probably not. You are thinking, duh, that is what your iPod is for. But what if you are like me? What if you have an 80 gig iPod and yet that holds less than half of your actual (thus far) digitized music library? If you are like me and have way to much music digital or otherwise for you own good (and more than your wife thinks is reasonable), you look for ways to carry as much as possible without having to drive a U-hual everywhere you go.

Enter sites like AnywhereFM and Simplify Media. They are a welcome edition to my assortment of tools and gadgets that allow me to constantly play to soundtrack of my life in the background or forefront of my existence. Depends on what the moment calls for.

I am currently trying Anywhere FM at work and Simplify Media at home. Both work basically the same way. Create an account. Download there software to upload your music. Upload your music. Connect and listen. Simple. Effective. Free. They both include the feature of inviting and connecting with friends libraries to hear their music as well.

Look forward to hearing from those of you out there that are possibly using similar tools or these options to listen online.

On another note, anyone using a Slingbox yet? I would love to hear about your experience and thoughts on this device!

The Bible Web 2.0 Style

In looking online for resources and bible study tools I recently have come across YouVersion.com. Billing itself as "a free online bible like no other" it promises to integrate scripture (multiple versions), community, and collaboration (user-contributed content) to create this interactive opportunity. You can read about it on the YouVersion Blog and check out the tour. In case you are wondering who is behind it: LifeChurch.tv

Check it out and then discuss your thoughts here.

Here are some of my questions that the YouVersion website may or may not address. (I will have to fully examine all the content over time.)

Initially it is a cool idea but my thoughts/questions/concerns are:
Who ultimately controls the content? Will debate be allowed and to what degree? Is it a sight where opposing viewpoints will be allowed Arminianism vs. Calvinism, Pre-mil vs Amil, etc?
What about Jewish, Mormon and Atheist thought, will absolutely anyone be able to contribute their thoughts and material on the bible.

I am just curious. What are your thoughts? I look forward to the beta launch and getting to see the early stages of this new collaborative process.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Insound is a great source for good music...

I subscribe to Insounds weekly email list and have found it to be one of my top sources for good, quality, indie rock. And since I have been leading a busy summer in youth ministry and woefully neglected my blog I wanted to share this quick post from Insound to hopefully help you find some good music that you too may have overlooked or missed out on while surviving the sweltering sweatiness of the summer or even just stuck in the daily grind of a job where your only difference between summer and winter is whether you were a cotton blazer or wool.

INSOUND'S TOP TEN OF 2007 (THAT WE FORGOT LAST WEEK)




Wow, we sure started a controversy with our Top Ten Records of 2007 (so far) list . We received calls and e-mails from around the globe (and around the office) demanding us to explain why we failed to put ________’s album on the list. And we responded with, “sorry we suck so much.” But thinking about it some more, you definitely did have some good suggestions. So we’re going to try this again. We bring you Insound’s Top Ten Records of 2007 (that we forgot about last week) . Zach Hill, a drum roll please:

I. The National - The Boxer

II. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

III. Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Letdown

IV. Battles - Mirrored

V. Gui Boratto - Chromophobia

VI. Times New Viking - Paisley Reich

VII. Blues Control - Blues Control

VIII. Elliott Smith - New Moon

IX. Arthur & Yu - In Camera

X. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Is Is

Are we cool with each other, again?

COUPON CODE: toptenforgot (10% off any of these albums till August 8th.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where your faith on your sleeve?

I don't normally dig "Christian" shirts, or "Christian" oven mits, or whatever the latest CBA marketing gimmicks are but occassionally there comes along someone serious about their faith and their art equally. Here are 3 clothing companies out there that I have come to believe in think are worth sharing.

Micah (online here and at myspace)
We are an independent clothing line. This is our myspace. Our hope is that through our clothing we can bring joy to a hurting world. We are Christians, but we don’t want to just be labeled a ‘Christian company,’ we want to live like one. We hope for the future. We hope you will join us in our efforts.





Jedidiah (see them here and at myspace)
Jedidiah....a passion for people, branding hope for the world

In 2001, the concept of a clothing brand that would be rooted in love became a reality for a small group of people in southern California. Burdened by what seemed to be an endless onslaught of lifestyle alternatives that promote self-gratification, greed and addiction. Jedidiah embarked on a path of trying to touch the hearts of people through clothing. We feel that serving others is more fulfilling to the human heart than serving yourself.

Prophetik (find them here and at myspace)
Wearable Philosophy
There is a war at hand between the balance of the needs of the individual and the needs of the community…between freedom and order….between passions and principles…between selfish desires and stewardship…short term verses long term.






(* Each picture and quote taken from the designers website and/or myspace)

How to be trendy again!













In case you are like me and don't really love the east coast or the left coast but think they are a great place to visit occasionally here are some tees that will help you with your hipster street cred if you get them before your trendy buddies. You can purchase them here.

Summer lovin, havin' a blast!

Well ministry in the summer for a youth pastor is always crazy busy but when I realized I had not contributed to my blog in over a month I was aghast. I think I was aghast anyway, I am not sure what that means really.

While I do hope to return to some more regularity in my postings I know the summer is still activity laden and its prime time to hang with students outside rather than peck away at a dimly lit keyboard inside.

This summer has already brought great highs and lows in ministry. Here are some highlights:

At VBS, where I lead the closing ceremonies each night and presented the gospel on Thursday night we saw around 25 children saved by grace and acknowledge Jesus as leader and friend; two teenagers as well.

Immediately after VBS we set sail for Colorado, Woodland Park to be exact, for youth camp. Where we suffered in temperatures fluctuating between the high 30's at night and low 70's during the day. We saw students experience regeneration while others experienced restoration and healing. I am so proud of what God the Father did in the life of his children at Quaker Ridge. And I am amazed and broken more than ever at what teenagers are going through and what burdens they are often carrying alone attempting to deal with and live with.

On top of that I got to preach on Fathers Day while our pastor was on vacation. It was awesome as I was delirious with sleep deprivation from camp and the drive back from Colorado. But it was also perfect since it was my first Fathers Day as a father. I had the perfect sermon seeing as how I am the perfect dad and Eli at 10 months is still the perfect son.

On top of that I faced one of the most difficult crisis' and hurts of my whole entire ministry career. While some things are easier to deal with than others I believe restoration, protection, healing and forgiveness will be the outcome of what otherwise could have caused great devastation of lives for some. Of course I will not go into detail here but personally my wife and I experienced: hurt, betrayal, embarrassment, bewilderment, despair, stress, and frustration, among other things. No one ever really sees the consequences of their actions on everyone else until it is much too late.

We had a work day at church like no other. You may know how every church that has been around awhile seems to collect church members stuff that they can't get rid of any other way. Somehow it ends up at the church. We cleaned out at least 4 packed rooms of just 30 years or more of accumulated junk. We finished a major component in the remodeling of our student ministry area. We cleaned, we hammered and we ate pizza and it was the most fun I have had doing manual labor with friends in a very long time.

Eli is growing like a weed. Like a weed that weighs like a 25lb sack of 'taters. He is crawling all over the house faster than a jack rabbit on acid. He pulls up and walks his way up down any furniture in the house that has sharp edges, glass doors, hard pointy corners or handles. He yells to drown out any other possible noise that might be in 5 block radius. He poops in such a way that all bugs and small varmints in the vicinity are temporarily stunned into unconsciousness. He loves the bath more than life itself and at this point seems to be leaning towards a career in either piracy or marine biology.

It is nearly July in Texas and I can't think of a day without rain so far this summer. My yard looks like the Serengeti plain (with out the Zebras or is it Zebri?) Our 3 year old Schnauzer Sammey is afraid of the rain and is apparently on a peep and poo strike until further notice. She absolutely refuses to go outside in the rain but is at least being a sport about it and is not doing her business inside either. It is only a matter of hours before her eyes pop out of her head, her kidneys and bowels explode and we loose our security deposit on our house forever.

It has nearly rained out every outdoor student ministry event on the summer calendar thus far. The rain seems to have no end in sight either. And first and foremost I have truly become convinced weathermen/meteorologists are lying through their teeth each and every time some one points a camera toward them. They have absolutely NO freakin' idea of what the weather is going to do more than a few hours at most before it does it.

Still ahead, Mexico Mission trip, plans for Russia and/or Spain, a boatload of $10 Tuesdays, Wednesday night messages, Lake days, movies, dirty diapers and late night typing sessions to rant and rave about all that goes on in around my tiny little brian.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lust Control


My friend that Rabbi posted today on Fighting Lust with some links to the Irish Calvinist and a great resource from John Piper. I will direct you there for the serious side of the discussion and some valuable tools he has already listed. But it did remind me of an infamous underground Christian punk band with secret identities, ski masks, and a penchant for the taboo. Luckily the church has come along way since the days of Lust Control and now discussions about sexuality and sex are handled openly and biblically. (in most cases) Thanks in part to this new attitude the identities of the group are no longer a secret either. In fact to my surprise they even have a myspace though they no longer perform or record.

One of their most memorable songs was "The Big M." I'll give you one guess what that one is about. Check out their music and check out the Rabbi's thoughts on the subject.

Coffee Cup Quote Too Hot for Women to Stomach


See the full article here about a women offended by what she considered an inflammatory quote on her Starbucks cup. Go to the article to see the full quote from the cup and the entire article including comments by other readers both pro and con. But here is the snippet of the quote that I wanted to point out:

"As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome?" a snippet of the quote from the cup...

Doesn't the author of this quote contradict himself in these two sentences. He seems incensed that people would ask a figment of their imagination for guidance. In his view God is a product of their on mind. Yet the answer he offers is to search insides ones self for answers! So really he is accusing those who pray of doing the very thing he then instructs them to do, am I right?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Marvel vs. PC (Mac/PC Parody)


A while back I posted a blog listing some great videos on YouTube. Including the parody of Mac vs. PC sereis called Christian vs. Christfollower.

I found these new videos at Youtube and just had to share them. In a parody of the incredibly funny and popular Mac vs PC commercials someone has created a set of Marvel vs DC parodies with Spiderman and Superman discussing the comic companies upcoming movie productions (or lack of in one case.) I am including links to videos 1, 2, and 4 and posting video three here on the site. Video three is the funniest in my opinion. Now there is also this response to the first four including Batman.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sun Sings Praise to God 2


My good friend Dave Samples posted a good question and one that I thinks deserves a good answer here on the blog for all to read. Dave commented on post 1 of this issue "hmmmm....but is it contemporary or traditional?


I think this question is answered in God's own design plans for the sun that we can observe in our solar system. The scientists reporting on the study say that the sound waves work in the same way guitar strings and standing pipe organs work. So God in His divine sovereignty and foreknowledge has settled the 'worship wars' before the foundations of the world. God created the sun to worship Him in such a way that it sounds like guitar and pipe organ. He apparently likes both! Who knew? Now we know.

All can rest easy knowing Builders that want organ pipes bellowing out the dirges of the hymnal are on the same footing as us pesky Busters that prefer our melodies to be plucked rather than plinked, strummed rather than stroked. Boomers get the best of both worlds (I guess) with their preference for synthesizers that can imitate the sounds of both instruments on ditties like "Jehovah Jira My Provider" and "I will enter His gates." Now I need to find a cosmological justification for two turntables and a microphone.

All that remains to be answered now is "What sound waves seem to be emanating from Uranus?"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sun Sings Praise to God

Astronomers have discovered something the Bible has told us for thousands of years. The sun plays heavenly symphonic music created by sound waves at frequencies below the level at which humans can hear. It is sweet music made and played for God and God alone. All creation worships the Lord.

And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. Deuteronomy 4:19

Psalm 148
1Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

3Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For he commanded and they were created.
6And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.[a]

7Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

9Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

11Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

13Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dallas Cowboys 2007 Schedule Announced


2007 COWBOYS SCHEDULE:

Date Opponent Time
Sept. 9 vs. New York Giants 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 16
at Miami
3:05 p.m.
Sept. 23
at Chicago
7:15 p.m.
Sept. 30
vs. St. Louis
Noon
Oct. 8
at Buffalo
7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14
vs. New England
3:15 p.m.
Oct. 21
vs. Minnesota
Noon
Oct. 28
BYE
--
Nov. 4
at Philadelphia
7:15 p.m.
Nov. 11
at New York Giants
3:15 p.m.
Nov. 18
vs. Washington
Noon
Nov. 22
vs. New York Jets
3:15 p.m.
Nov. 29
vs. Green Bay
7:15 p.m.
Dec. 9
at Detroit
Noon
Dec. 16
Philadelphia
3:15 p.m.
Dec. 22
at Carolina
7:15 p.m.
Dec. 30
at Washington
Noon

56 Days

I have not blogged in a while and here is part of the reason why:

A few months ago we lost our internet connection at the church office. Literally we went to lunch, and when we returned we could not connect to the internet. This happened on occasion and while an inconvenience it was not an immediate problem. However the next day the connection still had not returned and we decided it was time to call our internet provider. A local guy with one name like Cher or Bono, which should have been a clue in-and-of-itself. So we called Spirit who informed us he had gone out of business and taken down his equipment Wednesday around noon. THANKS for the advanced warning!

Anyway 56 days later we are back on line and now once again have high speed internet, via radio waves here at the church again. I never realized just how dependent I had become and used the time to reflect on that fact. I would be sitting at my desk and for the first two weeks it seemed like I would turn to "look something up", email someone, etc, about 20 times an hour.

56 days later I can once again blog, google something or someone, communicate through email, IMDB something or someone (who was that guy that played in that movie?) download and though it was nice to take a break from constant internet activity, total abstinence is not for me.

Of course I have internet at home but I tend to do the bulk of my internet usage at the office. At home I used it to check email, download music, update my ipod and podcasts, and watch some missed episodes of Scrubs. For the most part I want home to be a place where I spend time with my family, a place where I don't work on work, a place where I play with the dog, watch Eli as he is growing up making new daily discoveries like learning to clap, and learning to "Hulk Out" as we have come to call it.

56 days later I am back checking my google reader and my myspace and creating a facebook account. I can not believe I survived and while it set me back some in planning and preparation it was nice to take a break. It is equally nice to be back.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Buzz of the Week: Apple TV

Here’s what you need to know about the new Apple TV.

Apple released their Apple TV device which is anticipated to revolutionize the downloadable media industry by merging computer activity with couch potato time.

• Connects computers (Mac and PC) to televisions

• Essentially an iPod for your TV; copies computer files to the device

• Copies one computer’s movies, photos, TV shows, videoclips and music

• Can also stream media from five other computers without copying

• Works with both wired and wireless networks

• Only works with iTunes media–meaning you can’t use it to watch YouTube videos on your TV, as Netgear’s new EVA8000 box does

• Only works with widescreen TVs

• Holds 50 hours of video

• If you pause a movie, TV show or song on your iPod, Apple TV remembers your place when you continue watching/listening on your TV

Now if only they could solve finding our remote, we'd be all set...

Now THE BIG QUESTION is how do you see this being used in the local church?

(via The Intelligence Group)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spurgeon on Youth

"In an election the first votes recorded count all the day long, and they encourage the party all through the anxious hours of polling. When men give in their names for Jesus and his cause in the morning of their lives, their whole existence influences their time, and their encouragement to the good cause is lifelong." Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9 (ESV)

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Ecclesiastes 12:1 (ESV)

Before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Make Your Life Count For Lasting Things!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On Being a Dad: 03.27.07

Some recent highlights of fathering a son who is created in the image of God and is Wild at Heart.

  • He has only cried twice in the bath, the first time he cried was the third time he had a bath, so we don't know if he was freaked out or what, but the only other time he cried because he was mad that we took him out too soon. He was not done playing!
  • He discovered how to splash water by about the 4th bath and has loved splashing and stomping ever since.
  • He has two teeth that he is not afraid to use.
  • He has learned how to clap.
  • He has the thighs of a fullback and the arm strength of a linebacker.
  • He already knows that remote controls are to be controlled by the men of the house.
  • He recently discovered his "junk" in the bath tub.
  • He loves the outdoors.
  • He loves dogs.
  • He loves life as evidenced by his hysterical laughter, his incredible range of eyebrow control to show a wide range of contemplation and emotion, and his ever increasing ability to "get loud."
  • He wears these little red sunglasses, and unlike most kids, he doesn't try to take them off. He knows they say something about being manly and outdoorsy.
  • He has not yet had a food that he has not liked, rice cereal, oatmeal, peas, carrots, squash, bananas, green beans. He says he is ready to move on to Steak, Tex-Mex, and Coca-Cola.
  • He is already developing his hunting and tracking skills. I hold him in the superman position down by my waist and he chases Sammey, our Schnauzer, around the house and backyard.
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Student Ministry 101 (Examining Your Student Ministry)

Someone recently asked me the purpose of my blog. While most things I do, I do with purpose, my blog has more or less been a scatter shot, stream of conscience type of rambling event. As my career and calling revolves around Student Ministry, I tend to use this blog as a place to process and 'put out there' those ideas, thoughts, readings, happenings, and ideas that fall outside of student ministry. In a way, a place I go to get away from Student Ministry to connect with a wider audience. However, I have decided that several people that read my blog and I connect with through this medium are also interested in, involved in, and living in the trenches of ministry both as laypeople, pastors, and student ministers. On top of that, many are parents of tweens and teens. So in the future I plan on having more content posted here regarding Student Ministry.

So I start here with Dr. Johnny L. Derouen, SWBTS Professor of Student Ministry, and his questions for "Examining Your Youth Ministry."

5 Questions:

1. What does God want of our students?

2. Why do you follow Jesus?

3. What is your student's purpose on this planet?

4. Is God trustworthy?

5. What is your most valuable possession?

How does he answer these:

1. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33 (ESV)
God wants their everything.

2. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. I Cor. 15:16 (ESV)
Follow Jesus because He is our only hope.

3. And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as
yourself."
Luke 10:27 (ESV)
Build your life on and around Jesus.

4. Yes, God is trustworthy so prepare them that discipleship is a life long journey, a process. Move them beyond (ween them off of) the quiet time books and equip them to study the Bible.
Equip them to walk for a lifetime.

5. Your time is the only thing that is yours to give and you can not save it.
Don't waste your life.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who knew...

...index cards could be this much fun.

This is my new favorite blog. This girl is genius!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An oldy but a goody

I Like Big Bibles:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Video Venue

As you know I am a big fan of great music. I like classic country, alt country, indie rock, punk, rock n roll, opera, even a little classical or hip hop when the mood strikes. My wife considers me a rock snob to some degree, and I would probably have to agree with her. Everything from Shuggy Otis to Modest Mouse, Gram Parsons to Grandmaster Flash. So though these are not obscure I wanted to drop some music videos on you today. I think these are some of the best (and or most innovative) videos around. Best is subjective but for me it means they don't get old.

R.E.M. -- Imitation of Life


Weezer -- Buddy Holly


Beastie Boys -- Sabotage (not innovative but so much fun, file under guilty pleasure)


Coldplay -- Yellow (correct me if I am wrong but isn't this one continuous shot unedited)


Duran Duran -- Wild Boys (The first music video I ever saw.)


For 5 recent ones try these:
Mates of State -- Fraud in the 80's
Cold War Kids -- Hang Me Out to Dry
Peter, Bjorn and John -- Objects of My Affection and Young Folks
Gnarls Barkley -- Smiley Faces

For 5 more obscure classics:
Bob Dylan -- Subterranean Homesick Blues
Townes Van Zandt -- Pancho and Lefty
Son House -- John the Revelator (proof you can find almost anything on youtube.com)
Sam Cooke -- You Send Me (danced to this at our wedding)
Dizzy Gillespie & Louis Armstrong -- Umbrella Man

80's Bonus:
Stryper -- Soldiers Under Command
Grand Master Flash -- The Message
Did you forget B.A. Baracus hates to fly?

Cussing Pastors, Blue Language, and the Dirty Word


There has been an ongoing debate in my mind for quiet sometime about language. What exactly is crude language, coarse jesting, and foul language? What constitutes cussing? There is most definitely a Biblical mandate for "watching your language." So how do I as a Chirst follower, father, husband, pastor and gen-Xer determine what is and is not appropriate language? Is it hypocritical for me or just prudent to use different vocabulary with different groups of people?

Don't get me wrong! I am not advocating anything here I am just pondering (to some they will see no difference I am sure.) I have grown up among my peers, Christian or not, to find "sucks," "crap, crappy," "freaking, freakin'," and then maybe a few others to be acceptable. However, most people in older generations might have problems with some or all of these words. I admit I have used them from time to time in preaching to students. To say things like "I know sometimes you feel like life sucks" or "Maybe you believe that Jesus does not care about the crappy deal you got when your parents split up." I have been in ministry 14 years and I can honestly say I have had only one complaint. But I do not gage orthodoxy or orthopraxy based on complaints, whether many or few.

What are you thoughts?

For further threads on examining this Biblically and culturally look at some of these articles and sights. There is much that I have found helpful in thinking through these things. My biggest question is who or what makes a dirty word dirty in the first place? What is profane?

There is the continuing debate about Mark Driscoll, known by some as 'the Cussing Pastor.' Latest that I know of in the attack on Driscoll is John McArthur.

Others that have discussed Mark Driscoll are Tim Challies and Phil Johnson. For me the larger question is "Does Driscoll preach Christ and Him crucified?" In writing, in sermon, and in his blog Driscoll confesses his tongue can be a problem, he is repentant and claims he is trying to do better. He claims he has men (elders) who hold him accountable. Do we need bloggers and other preachers to judge his heart and his motives when they have no personal knowledge or contact with him when oiher qualified men do, such as Piper and C.J. Mahaney. Of course Piper recently slipped, and then apologized.

Dr. Peter J. Leithart, professor at New Saint Andrews College, has several outstanding posts on coarse language, etc. Including Skubalon which is the greek word Paul uses that some claim can be translated with a word stronger than crap, vulgar language, how Christians should talk about sex, and obscenity.

I hope this will be a lively and biblical discussion! Speaking of biblical here is the main passages to consult: Ephesians 5:1-12.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is there Baseball in Heaven? a joke



Ok I rarely ever forward emails, almost never. And I have never posted

a joke or cutesy story on my blog but I got this Baseball

Joke from my daily email from MIKEY'S FUNNIES is brought to you by...

Mike Atkinson @ http://www.uneekNet.com ... helping organizations succeed on the web
. Since OPENING DAY is fast approaching I wanted to share some baseball cheer.



Two 90-year-old men, Moe and Joe, have been friends all of their lives.

When it's clear that Joe is dying, Moe visits him every day. One day

Moe says, "Joe, we both loved baseball all our lives, and we played minor

league ball together for so many years. Please do me one favor: when

you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's baseball

there."



Joe looks up at Moe from his deathbed, "Moe, you've been my best friend

for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favor for you."

Shortly after that, Joe passes on.



At midnight a couple of nights later, Moe is awakened from a sound

sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him,

"Moe, Moe."



"Who is it?" asks Moe, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"



"Moe -- it's me, Joe."



"You're not Joe. Joe just died."



"I'm telling you, it's me, Joe," insists the voice.



"Joe! Where are you?"



"In Heaven," replies Joe. "I have some really good news and a little

bad news."



"Tell me the good news first," says Moe.



"The good news," Joe says, "is that there's baseball in Heaven. Better

yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here, too. Better

than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always springtime,

and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play baseball all

we want, and we never get tired."



"That's fantastic," says Moe. "It's beyond my wildest dreams! So

what's the bad news?"



"You're pitching Tuesday."


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Open Letter to SWBTS Trustees by Marty Duren

If you are a Texas Baptist, Southern Baptist, concerned with Baptists, and/or alumni of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary you should read the open letter pastor Marty Duren has posted at his blogsite, SBC Outpost.

Get the word out to your friends and colleagues in Baptist life in ministry, in leadership, and foward them this letter or link to it. It is an important call to right several wrongs and hold accountable our leaders in the Convention.

I am a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and I have a connection there still with Professors. I just long for our leaders to be held accountable for their actions but also for them be held accountable when their leadership becomes divisive and dismissive on issues of preference and conscience. There are plenty of clearly defined doctrines and distinctives in Scripture that are related to salvation and ethics. Where doctrine and practice are less clear, or where Scripture is all together silent, I choose to let the Holy Spirit guide men's conscience.

On this topic here are some other blogs that I go to for a balanced, respectful, truthful, and thoughtful approach to Southern Baptist life.

Steve McCoy the Reformissionary and most recently his post strongly titled "Reasons Why I Hate Us."

Joe Thorn

Wade Burleson

And here are my concerns with the direction of the SBC right now:

1. inerrancy of scripture vs. sufficiency of scripture (alcohol)

2. complementarians vs. egalitarians (Klouda)

3. cessationists vs. non-cessationists (McKissic IMB/NAMB appointments)

4. the debate over ‘proper’ baptism leaning towards Landmarkism (IMB/NAMB)

5. the debate over Calvinism (While I was at Southwestern one professor
regrettably wrote in the Baptist Standard that “the God of Calvinism
resembled Allah more than the God of the Bible.”)

I wonder if it is only a matter of time before some try to force a particular eschatology, political party, sandwich meat, Bible translation, or whatever on us as the Convention standard. It used to not be so wearisome to be a Southern Baptist. It used to be a blessing, while it still is, more and more days it is feeling like a burden.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

We said goodbye to a friend today (03.10.07)

Brick James went to be with Jesus in Heaven last Sunday about this time (around 1AM one week ago today.) We had an incredible memorial service today to pay tribute to his life and ministry. Most of all we came together to mourn our loss, support each other, and give God the glory for a "life well lived."

Brick fought the good fight and he finished well. Married almost 30 years, serving in ministry 25 of those, battling cancer the last 7. He was an encouragement to me and to obviously so many as some 400 people filled the auditorium of Pottsboro High School to celebrate his life.

I don't worship Brick, I don't idolize Brick, but I did admire him, trust him, and love him. He knew and walked with Jesus and it was evident in his ministry, his marriage, his daughters and his love for the outdoors and most importantly for the wounded, hurting and incomplete of this world. He worked diligently to see that others had an opportunity to meet the Savior Jesus that Brick knew, loved and served.

I will share a few words I shared at the funeral.
Brick was a real man in a day when we don't see to many of those anymore. The world's ideal man is a self made man but Brick was a real man because he was a God made man. He was being sanctified while still here on earth.

For two short years while on staff together I got to witness the results of his sanctification process and his transformation in three ways. He was a good father because he tried to emulate His perfect father in Heaven. Brick loved his daughters and was devoted to his wife.

Brick loved Jesus his savior and he worked with joy ministering to those in our community and in our church that needed to know the Saving Grace of Jesus. He was a lover of the unloved, a missionary in his own back yard. He loved to see our church reach out to the community in anyway we could, especially to the children.

Brick ministered in the power of the comforter, the Holy Spirit. He was a counselor to the hurting and countless people credit Brick with saving them physically from the edge of darkness, leading them spiritually to the Light and Hope of the world, and many more for helping them piece their children, marriages, and selves back together.


I am thankful to God in Heaven where Brick now worships. Thank you that you allowed me to know Brick. Thank you that you have completely and totally healed Brick from cancer. Thank you that you used him in so many lives to bring about your kingdom purposes. Thank you that there is a legacy for his wife and daughters and friends to cherish.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Theological Manure

I know you have come to see my blog as a bastion of scholarship, deep deep spiritual encounters, and theological discourse but today I wanted to keep it light yet informative. Here are two videos from guys that unfortunately have infiltrated the world of Christianity and claim to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ when in fact they are to put it nicely "full of crap" and preach a different gospel. These men are charlatans, con-men, frauds, heretics and what-have-you. So please enjoy these video send ups of their bogus "ministries" and also consider yourself warned if for some reason you would ever find yourself sleep deprived and channel surfing only to end up watching 'Christian Television' wondering "Is this an episode of the twilight zone?" No it is just horrible theology, bad breath, Italian suits, and helmet hair.



Warning: May cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, extreme anger or frustration, righteous indignation in the theologically sound. May cause loss of faith, loss of money, lack of healing, spiritual abuse in the hurting and helpless. May cause serious future judgment and accountability in the practitioners of such charades.



Now Watch:

Benny Hinn



Tootin' Tilton



This last video has been around in various forms for over a decade. I remember as a teenager being shown a similar video to this one on VHS by my youth pastor around 1991 (approx.). At that time it was a copy of a copy of a copy (ad infinitum). It was very poor quality. The reality is now when you go to your tube there used to be several more but now when you search it says they have been removed due to the copyright claim Tilton has made on the video images of himself?' My question is 'why would he copyright videos of himself farting. What a sick twisted soul!





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Thursday, March 01, 2007

American Teen Fighting World Wide Slavery

Zach Hunter is a teenager and a modern day Abolitionist. He is 15 years old and he is fighting modern day slavery, he has founded Loose Change to Loosen Chains, and he has written a book "Be the Change."

Here is a video along with links to see this amazing story. I hope it inspires you, encourages you, and challenges you.



Links:

See he him on both CNN and CBN news.

Help make an Amazing Change.

More resources and info for individuals, families, youth groups and churches.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Titanic Crew Discovers Jesus' DNA in Family Tomb?

Well apparently James Cameron, director of Titanic, has now directed a documentary on the alleged discovery of Jesus' Family Tomb. The whole thing is silly when you take a few minutes to look at their arguments and evidence (if you can call it that with a straight face.) I will make a few comments but mostly just need to direct you to much wiser and more scholarly men than myself who each discuss this issue from their respective fields of expertise.

See scholarly responses from Darrel Bock, Ben Witherington, and Scot McKnight. See Bock and Witherington who both quote the same statistician on how common the names were in Jesus family and found in the tomb, proving nothing more than alot of people had those names. It would be similar to me walking into any cemetary here in Texas and finding a tombstone that read Kim Smith or John Jones. I would be silly to think it was the Jones or Smith I knew.

See also Gene Edward Vieth, and his second comment and then Andy Rowell. While these men are both scholars they offer some comment but link to several other sources as well.

Here are my comments but remember I am just a youth pastor what I know is based only on the Bible, a sophmoric sense of humor, and copious notes taken watching several seasons of CSI. CSI:Las Vegas mind you, not the annoyingly mello-dramatic Miami version with David whats-his-name.

1. Location, Location, Location: Jesus would not have been "buried" away from his home town and family members. Everyone goes home to be buried. Unless you have some complex agenda that forces you to make sketchy arguments and illogical leaps to defend your bogus argument.

2. The DaVinci Code: Did we not just have this whole Jesus was never married argument about 6 months ago? Go rehash all those slam dunks just to remind you that not only did the Titanic sink but so did this whole Jesus got married schtick.

3. The DNA Evidence: Gil Grissom will tell you or anyone on his CSI team, or any 5th grader that has a lick of sense will tell you how absurd this is! Where did you get the 'original DNA sample' to compare the DNA found in this tomb. I guess thousands of years before we knew anything about DNA the Roman soldiers swabbed the inside of Jesus mouth to take a DNA sample just for posterities sake? I suppose that sample has just been siting in a Roman warehouse somewhere, filed away, waiting for the day and age we were caught up technologically to have something to compare it too. I am sorry it just takes much more 'blind faith' to be an atheist than it does to use common sense, historical accuracy, and Biblical authority and believe Christianity.

4. The Stolen Body Theory: Had Jesus been relocated to another tomb/burial site, the disciples would have been the ones who had to do it. They all were martyred/murdered for their belief that Jesus was resurrected and unwillingness to recant this account. Maybe one or two men might be willing to die for a lie they know to be false, but not eleven. There is no way all eleven men would have been willing to live a life of persecution and die a torturous death for a hoax they themselves knew to be false.

Just to let you know I of take the arguments and concerns of athiest, agnostics, and middle schoolers all equally serious. The case presented in this 'documentary' is can not be taken serious however and is a sad excuse for research and scholarship.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Baptist Bridge Builder

I want to quote to you below an article that blew me a way. It is good to know that their are men like this in leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. I recently posted on the "controversy" created by the rants of a mad Missourian. This article by Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway, is a great testimony to the fact that many of the concerns of a younger generation of Southern Baptist's still can have much to hope for in regard to the future of the convention.

On Building Bridges

Written by Thom S. Rainer

NASHVILLE, Tenn., 2/19/07 -- When my three grown sons were small children, we would often play with a wooden train. Because they were so young, the boys would sometimes construct a track that ended up becoming two separate sections. The train could not continue to run because it would fall off the track. It was at that point that one of them would request with excitement: "Daddy, build me a bridge."

And so I would. The train could then run smoothly.

I am a part of a denomination that has many tracks but few bridges. And if we don’t start building some bridges quickly, God’s hand of blessing may move beyond us.

Let me share with you an example of recent days. I spoke last week at the Baptist Identity Conference at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. From an outsider’s perspective, one might conclude that the crowd was like-minded. After all, it was a gathering of mostly Southern Baptists.

But I knew better. Present were five-point Calvinists and others who would not affirm all five points. Also in attendance were cessationists and non-cessationists, people with differing views of women in ministry, bloggers, and print-media writers. There were some who thought leaving "Baptist" out of a church’s name was wrong; and there were others had already taken the denominational label out of their church’s name. The views on eschatology held by the attendees were many.

It was a diverse group of Southern Baptists indeed.

I spoke to many people before and after my formal presentation. One person commented to me, "Dr. Rainer, I better leave you before people start wondering why we are speaking with each other." Admittedly, his comment was meant to be humorous. But it did have a sting of truth in it. The labels had already been applied. The sides had been chosen. And you had better be careful about the side you chose or the people with whom you associated.

I reject that line of thinking.

As far as I knew, everyone at that conference was my brother or sister in Christ. As far as I knew, everyone was a Bible believer. I refuse to let labels keep me from building bridges.

My six years as a seminary student were difficult. Though I met many godly men and women and professors, I also witnessed firsthand much aberrant theology. I was and still am a firm supporter of the conservative resurgence. I knew we could not continue down the path we were headed.

But it seems as if we just can’t stop fighting even though the battle for the Bible is over and won.

I understand the risk I am taking by writing these words. But silence is not an option. I must be about building bridges.

Please understand that I have no illusion that my words will start a revolution or that many will listen. But I can only be held accountable before God for my own actions.

I choose to build bridges.

Though I am a fallible and sinful person, I will seek God’s power to stay true to the following:

1. I stand firm on the inerrant Word of God. I support without reservation the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

2. Though I may disagree with some on secondary and tertiary issues, I will not let those points of disagreement tear down bridges of relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ.

3. I will seek to join with those who will work together on the common causes of missions, evangelism and the health of the local church.

4. I will seek God’s will in prayer before I write or speak a word of disagreement against another brother or sister in Christ or even a non-Christian. I will seek to see the plank in my own eye before pointing out the splinter in another person’s eye. I will follow the truths of Matthew 18 when I feel that I need to confront a brother or sister in Christ.

5. I will spend more time rejoicing in the Lord (Phil 4:4).

6. I will seek God’s power to have a more gentle and Christlike spirit (Phil 4:5).

7. I will pray that the lost and the unchurched world will know me by my Christlike love.

Such is my commitment.

If God so leads, I invite you to join me in building bridges.

Thank you Dr. Rainer for giving credence to the view that there is room for theological diversity among Southern Baptists and we can still have fellowship and cooperation while disagreeing on the non-essentials. I will join you in building bridges. And I must confess and repent that sometimes in my youth and zeal and immaturity, instead of building, I am the one running with the match. Thank you for your words and example.

TwentySomthings (or actually 18-34 year olds)

Lifeway recently conducted a study of Twentysomethings and here are their conclusion as I summarize below. Go here for the full article.

Twenty Something care about:
1. Connection: Community with other young adults is extremely important in their lives.
(73% of church members and 47% of non-affiliated)

2. Authentic Answers: They desire to participate in Bible study that minimizes finding pat answers in the exploration of Scripture.

3. Social Action: A high-ranking priority is the opportunity to meet the needs of others on a regular basis. (66% of church members, 47% of non-affiliated)

For some awesome articles on reaching TwentySomethings check out the resources at Church Planting Village. They have 24 incredible articles on reaching 20somethings. Also check out several good articles on the changing landscape of ministry as this new generation shapes the look of the church at the North American Mission Board website.

And check out Barna's research from last fall on Twentysomethings. (On a personal note, Barna's polls tend to include only the East and West Coast population to the exclusion of Middle America. But in actuality take every study with a grain of salt.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

SBC "Controversy" Over the Emerging Church

Ok, other bloggers are already on top of this so I will save my comments for later. For now I will just direct you to Marty Duren's post about Missouri Baptist Roger Doran. Roger Doran seems to be an alarmist with bad facts and broad brush strokes trying to stir up the convention with a statement presented to Lifeway via the SBC executive committee.

For specifics about who Doran is and to determine whether he has any credibility at all I suggest you read the "truth about Roger Doran." See Joe Thorns commentary on the guilt by association angle present in Doran's remarks.

What kills me about all this is as a Southern Baptist I know we have a powerful network of cooperation and incredible resources to proclaim the gospel and see people transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, yet consistently we find ourselves busy proclaiming what hairs to split instead. I do not believe (maybe too naively) that Roger Doran has much sway with anyone but what I do fear is that there are some in leadership of the SBC who will take up his torch who do have wield power.

I consider myself to be on the side of the conservative resurgence and would whole heartedly align myself as such. However, in recent years I have wanted to ask the leaders of the movement if they realize they won. They accomplished what they set out to accomplish yet it appears to me they still look for fights and act as if they are ever trying to find ways to narrow the theological framework to a stifling degree. This concerns me because while there are those out there that say this is not going to happen I still find convention leaders drawing lines in the sand on issues like alcohol, women in ministry, Calvinism, tongues, baptism, etc. that push more and more people to take sides on issues that should be able to coexist within the larger body of what it truly means to be Southern Baptist.

Is there a term for someone who is obsessed with being "the most conservative." I fear it is an almost intoxicating desire to be right on every issue across the board, when in reality some views are debatable. This syndrome drives people to believe you are not like Jesus if you are not like them in every way. I am not saying theology is not important. I am saying there should be room for debate, room for different positions with in the conference. At this time I believe their is this breathing room within the SBC but I also feel that their are those in leadership that are still trying to constrict the convention ever tighter.