"Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God's purpose for your life."
Rick Warren

Marathon monk - A Japanese Buddhist priest completed an ancient running ritual in the Japanese mountains that took seven years and covered 24,800 miles. 44 year old Genshin Fujinami is the 47th monk to survive the ritual which dates back to the 8th century, and the first since 1994. Traditionally, any monk who starts on the journey but finds he cannot complete it must take his own life. (Sounds like a call to youth ministry!)
- Foxnews.com, September 19, 2003

(Both of these were found in Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox and I didn't even insert the youth ministry comment.)


I created my gmail account tonight.

I'm up working on a short piece for Youthworker Journal tonight. The working title is "Being a Pawn on the Church Chessboard." It's not as negative as it sounds, it's basic theme is servant leadership and putting others first.

Fewer Than 1 in 10 Teenagers Believe that Music Piracy is Morally Wrong

For decades, music has created a source of identity and enjoyment for teenagers. While that has been true for many years, a major recent change concerns how teenagers acquire their favorite musical styles and artists. Millions of teens now copy CDs for friends and download unauthorized songs from the Internet – activities commonly referred to as “music piracy.” To address the piracy problem, the recording industry has leveraged legal action against music downloaders and tried to force the closure of illegal Internet music-sharing services (such as the original Napster and Kazaa).

But a new study conducted by The Barna Group suggests that . . . . .

What is an Oxymoron? (I got this from a friend)

Oxymoron Definition: A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined.

EXAMPLE: "Oxymoron" = Removing the Ten Commandments from the courthouse while making people in court swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God ... while your hand is on the Bible!


We're selling our two vans

I guess our trustees saw this article:
Government warns of rollover risk in 15-seat vans or talked to other churches who have decided the risk is too high to use these.

Changes will have to be me made, but oh well. Ministry goes one. I wonder if one day we'll tell stories to young youth pastors when we are old, "I remember the days when they let us drive 15 passanger vans, of course that was back in the old days when we played chubby bunny, too"

Cool is a state of mind

One of my friends, who happens to volunteer with our youth ministry, sent me this regarding my last post, You're better then cool. You are real and that is what the kids need.

I agree, and this is what I tell the students all the time and I label it "The Secret of Being Cool" The secret of being cool is being yourself because no one else is you and very few are ever themselves. So just by being yourself, whoever that is, will get you noticed and help you stand out from the crowd because every one else so desperately wants to be in the crowd they can't be cool.


I'm just not cool

Why do I still have this desire to be cool? It doesn't always hit me but some days it does. I was looking at this list of speakers and the pictures and slick bio's and I realized, I'm so not cool.

I can't imagine me pulling off this pose for my church staff picture or any picture for that matter.

And I wonder why, I would want to. Is this the image for what a "great youth worker" should be? Or do we have to have these sort of things said about us to make us "speaker worthy"?

He has served churches with youth enrollments up to 1700 and has seen a youth ministry grow from 200 to almost 500 students in 3 years under his leadership.

followed God’s calling to become a full-time communicator,

He is considered one of the most effective student ministers in the country.

He is a former University of Alabama football player and is now based out of Los Angeles, CA where he serves as a missionary to the entertainment industry. This unique background and occupation allows him to draw students in to his messages.

I don't know the answers. I don't begrudge these guys or their ministries, I don't know them and I did have a good experience with a Brock Gill Outreach event we had. The point is if this is the measure of successfull and effective, very few of us measure up.

I am thrilled though, that God can use me (in all my uncoolness) to accomplish His will in My Little Place. So I won't buy into the images of success given to us even by the Christian marketing machine instead I'll take an order of "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart"

My Pictures from Belize

Belize Sunrise

Grocery Store

Bed & Breakfast

All the Pictures


*Warning* RANDOM BLOGGING AHEAD! *Warning*

On my trip to Belize I was able to read 5 books in 5 days. That was refreshing to have that much time (7.5 hours flight time each way) to read and write some stuff.

While flying home I was able to see New York City and identify the Statue of Liberty, where the WTC was, the Empire State Building and Central Park. Very cool seeing NYC from up there. I couldn't help but think about 9/11 and it still ticks me off and hurts when I think about it.

I am digging this Shifting Sand.

I went to a Time Management & Personal Productivity Seminar. It was very good. I was skeptical before I went but afterwards I am extremely pleased with it. Not too much was "brand new" regarding the principles that were shared but it seemed to really click. I hope I'm not suffering from a "Retreat Mountain Top Experience."

The Red Sox have beaten the Yankees two games in a row. Schilling is the Man, Damon is a Caveman and Manny can just pimp-slap a baseball!

I had an idea for a business that doesn't involve sucking more ca$h out of church budgets, unlike most of the junk mail I get at church. Could this be a "Roaring Lamb" idea that is helpul to the world, successful and created by a Christian? I hope so but for now, mum's the word.

Now I'm off to finish an article for Interlinc , I warned you that this post would be random.


Great article found at GetReligion.org

What hath Mel Gibson wrought?

Hooray for Entertainment Weekly in publishing "Hooray for Holywood" in its April 16 edition. The feature is not yet available online -- but even when it is, the content will be available only to EW subscribers or AOL customers.

The five-member panel is top-heavy with Protestants, with only Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, present as a token non-Christian. The panel could have been more lively had it included directors such as Richard Dutcher (God's Army, Brigham City), a Mormon, or Jonathan Kesselman (The Hebrew Hammer).

The other four panelists are Jerry Jenkins, the writer who turned Tim LaHaye's premillennialist teachings into the bestselling Left Behind series; Phil Vischer, founder of Big Idea; Martha Williamson, executive producer of Touched by an Angel; and Ralph Winter, a producer of X-Men and Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes. . . .


It's official, Red Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon looks like Jesus!

I now have proof that let's me call the Red Sox a "Christian" baseball team. ;-)


It won't last but I found this at BostonDirtDogs.com


Nameless Youth Pastors

This blog was featured last week on the YS Update. It intrigues me. It reminds me, in some ways of The Liquid Thinking Blog. It's a group blog that seems to talk about some taboo youth ministry issues that others won't talk about.

Easter Sunday

We do an Easter Beach Sunrise Service and it's one of my favorite services that we do.

I baptized 5 students during our second service today. 2 Jr. High students and 3 upper elementary students. The last girl had a dry spot on her head when she came back out of the water. I wonder if it counts? :-)


Poverty Simulation

Today over 1.4 Billion people live in absolute poverty and many have never heard the Good News of Jesus.

Come understand the issues of poverty as you get a small glimpse of being poor for a weekend.

In 1986 Jimmy and Janet Dorrell did a Poverty Simulation for a group from Oklahoma City whose Youth Pastor was concerned that his youth were not applying their knowledge of scripture to their lives.

Thus, the experience was created which challenged the students to see the world through different eyes. Scripture and doctrine have become real and alive for both students and leaders who have participated in the weekend.

I took a group of students to the "Poverty Simultion" while I was in San Antonio. It is the best experientiall lesson your students could ever go through. I know a youth pastor who travelled from Nashville to Waco with students to do it, and he had no regrets for making the trip.

My best memories of Church Under the Bridge

I was there a couple of summers ago with a group of students and we helped set up the chairs for the service and prepared some bags of rice for a wedding that morning. Local churches rotate on Sunday mornings and serve breakfast to whoever wants some free food before the service. People smoke before after and during the service. There is something right about a guy smoking a cigarette in the back while listening to a sermon about grace and the Kingdom of God.


You could Win an autographed copy of Soulshaper by Tony Jones.

Find out More Here


Wanna know what church should look like?

My friend Jimmy Dorrell started a Bible study for six homeless guys over ten years ago and now about every Sunday there are 300 people who gather under a bridge in Waco, TX for church. I've been to Church Under the Bridge, it's what church should be like.

Here's the story in Chistianity Today: A Bridge Over Troubled People: Sinners of all stripes find a church home under the I-35


Where I stayed in Belize, the corner cabana on the right.

For more pics go to BelizeMission.org

I'm going to sleep.


I'm @ an internet cafe in Belize. Amazing place and great missions group to work with, if anyone is interested. I'll try and put their web addy up later. Just wanted to add a little "international flavor" to the blog.

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