New Year and New Everything

I'll be driving down to Texas over the next 2-3 days to begin my new ministry at Grace Bible Church in La Vernia, TX. It's been a crazy few days. I flew up from AL (Christmas with my wife's family) on Tuesday. Got the moving truck today and packed it with the help of some friends and I'm driving tomorrow.

I'm hoping to make it to Nashville area tomorrow to see a friend and spend the night with them. A free couch is better than a hotel bed. :-)

I'm exited about the church and where it is going. It's grown from 175 to 350 over the last year. Numbers do not equal health and bigger isn't always better but it's exciting to be somewhere that knows who they are, where they are going and how they will get there.

I've been amazed over the last 10 years that those three simple things are not so simple after all for many churches or any other organization. More on that later, I'm going to be driving around 15-16 hours tomorrow so I'm off to bed. Have a good new year and see you in 2005 in the blogosphere!


Okay, I'm finally getting around to writing about this. I read Renee's book (Stumbling Toward Faith) in one day except for the last 10 pages. (I didn't read that until a week later - long story). I was amazed at not only her openness which for those of us who have read her blog for a while, came as no surprise, but for the story and her faith despite all that happened.

Plus her poems and pictures rocked! I'd love to give her book to others who have similar stories and not just in the abuse but the overall walk of faith through doubt.

Ironicly I got her book in the mail the exact same day that I got Tim Baker's book in the mail. They were both given to me and I gave them my book. I read the first chapter of Tim's Dewitched and then a friend "coincedentally" asked if I knew anything about Wicca. I told her, "Not a whole lot but I just got this cool book about it that could help you."

She's had it ever since. I'm sure she'll give it back to me or mail it to me when she's done. :-) Cool thing is though, she read it because she was dealing with a girl who was really into wicca and it's helped her better understand her and help he as she loves and ministers to her.

Oh and as life would have it, they both had articles on the YS front page today.

Finding My Way: Constructing a Personal, Authentic Spirituality by Tim Baker

Beyond Pat Answers by Renee Altson


Last week, 100-year-old Rev. Eugene Florence walked across the stage to receive his master's degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary. He has spent 65 years pastoring Texas churches, and occasionally preaches at New Mount Calvary Baptist Church, where he is a member. He attended the seminary for eight years at night. Florence actually had completed enough work for a Master of Divinity degree in 1951, but the seminary "didn't award master's degrees in those days to men of color," noted seminary President Paige Patterson apologetically at the ceremony.
From The Pastor's Weekly Briefing


Just to let Jimmy and Mark fom Liquidthinking know, I got U2's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" four days after it was released. Which beats the four years to took me to buy their last CD.

Oh and no posts on LT since Nov 22? You guys are on break, aren't you?


I got this e-mail from Kevin Ireland this past week. It came at a good time. In case you don't remember, Keven was in jr. high at my first church, ten years ago and he's now a youth pastor:
I just wanted to let you know how well your Creative Bible Lessons book has been working with my Sr. High, we've and some good discussion throughout and have seen some real fruit . For instance shortly after we did session 2 with your "Fight about it or let it go?" handout, an argument between a staunch Halloween opponent and a staunch Halloween fan I overheard it ending withing a few minutes of it's begining with one student saying "This really is a negotioable belief at best with me, I'm okay that you see differently." Yes!

Also schedual wise things have lined up perfectly, this post-black friday Sunday school we're up to your materilism challenging session 8! This was un-planned, it just happend that way!

It's funny to see the perfect design in even seemingly random things as schedualing!

But anywho, just wanted to see how you where doing and encourage you that your work on this book is producing fruit out here in old NJ!
I wish everyone in youth ministry (and ministry) could get those kind of letters at least once a month. It doesn't happen though, which causes us to remember that God is the one who has called us into ministry and it is for Him that we do what we do. One day we will learn all kind of stories that we had a role in and we weren't even aware of. That's going to be a great day!

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