Remembering Yaconelli Today

My package from Kregel arrived today. It's better than Christmas. I'll have to share a few of the finds after I read/skim some things. The picture of Yaconelli from 1976 alone was the price of his book.

I rode a roller coaster today at SeaWorld in San Antonio with my daughters and all I could think about with my hands up and the wind in my face was "What a Ride!" (I also downloaded all his talks to my computer this past week.)

The highlight though recently was when I gave my senior pastor a copy of Mike's "Collected Writings" (The book that was distributed at the Convention last year.) After reading it he told me that he agreed with about 95% of what Mike said about youth ministry. We're each trying to make Breakfast with Jesus a regular habit. God is good.

Encouragement from an e-mail

I recently received a very encouraging e-mail. Here's an edited version of it.

It is encouraging to hear how God is working in the lives of His saints and continues to provide for them by His grace. . . . . Len, barely know you, but I am constantly encouraged by your blog... I look forward to the opportunity to possibly us meeting some day face to face just to share stories with one another. I will pray for you today

I hope you keep a file of encouraging notes that you get from people. I know I do.


Teens spurn e-mail for messaging

US teenagers prefer instant messaging rather than e-mail to stay in touch with each other, research shows. A Pew Internet and American Life Project study found online teens are increasingly tech-savvy.

Nearly nine out of 10 teenagers say they use the net, up from 74 percent in 2000, according to the Pew study.

While e-mail is seen as a tool for communicating with adults, instant messaging was proving the most popular way to chat with friends.

Three-quarters 75% of online teenagers in the US have used IM, the survey found, with personalised features proving popular.

Read the rest from The BBC


Tozer Quote

The church is afflicted by dry rot. This is best explained when the psychology of nonexpectation takes over and spiritual rigidity sets in, which is an inability to visualize anything better, a lack of desire for improvement.
There are many who respond by arguing, "I know lots of evangelical churches that would like to grow, and they do their best to get the crowds in. They want to grow and have contests to make their Sunday school larger." That is true, but they are trying to get people to come and share their rut. They want people to help them celebrate the rote and finally join in the rot. Because the Holy Spirit is not given a chance to work in our services, nobody is repenting, nobody is seeking God, nobody is spending a day in quiet waiting on God with open Bible seeking to mend his or her ways. Nobody is doing it--we just want more people. But more people for what? More people to come and repeat our dead services without feeling, without meaning, without wonder, without surprise? More people to join us in the bondage to the rote? For the most part, spiritual rigidity that cannot bend is too weak to know just how weak it is.
A. W. Tozer in "Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church"
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Great Quotes

I think great quotes are like Proverbs in the Bible. Truth is contained in them. Proverbs are always fun to teach because you get to explain that as a genre of literature they contain principles for living but that doesn't equal being a promise for your life. Here are some great quotes; two were found today and I read the last one this past week.

Every church has three animals in the flock: sheep, goats, and wolves. The job of Biblical leadership is simple: Love the sheep. Convert the goats. Kill the wolves.


When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, everything is lost.

Billy Graham

At the heart of youth ministry in the church is a commitment to Jesus and to students, and the word we use for this commitment to youth is "calling." A calling is a holy attraction, an involuntary tugging, an unshakable sense that you can't do anything else. A person cannot be appointed, obligated, or manipulated into doing youth work; he or she must be called.

Mike Yaconelli in "The CORE Realities of Youth Ministry"


Mark Riddle is Alive!

Now we know why Mark has not blogged since April 13. He's been busy forming The Riddle Group. I like what is in the works and what they will be offering, so do these guys. I'd love to attend any of these seminars and it should be fun to see where it goes.


Sunday School is Changing in Under-the-Radar But Significant Ways

Americans have grown accustomed to change. But children who attend Sunday school these days have an experience similar to that which their grandparents would have had decades ago. In a culture saturated with change, one of the most stable aspects in the religious sphere has been Sunday school – the weekend educational efforts that Protestant churches offer to people outside of worship services.

However, a new study conducted by The Barna Group of Ventura, California shows that while many aspects of Sunday school remain constant, there are significant changes bubbling beneath the surface. Longitudinal research among Protestant pastors, commissioned since 1997 by Gospel Light, has explored how churches prioritize and engage in Sunday school, the usage of curriculum, midweek programming for children, and Vacation Bible School programs (often called VBS). . . . . .

Read the rest on Barna's site.

I am only one, but I am one;
I cannot do everything
But I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do
And what I ought to do
By the grace of God, I will do.
Canon Farrar


Pizza & Youth Ministry

I've had untold amounts of pizza while "on the job" in the wonderful world of youth ministry. Lock-In deliveries, leader meeting deliveries, pizza buffet's on road trips but I've never had a pizza like I did this past week.

I scheduled some lunches with students through the summer. This week we went to "Big Lou's Pizza". Where we ordered "The Big Lou." It's a 37 inch pizza! One slice goes from one corner of a pizza to-go box to the other corner. Twelve of us went and we still had 2 left-over slices!

It was a good time of just hanging out, asking a few questions and getting to know each other better.

I Link, Therefore I Am--Dead

Childress H. Wanamaker, 54, was subscribed to 48 forums and linked to hundreds of other online groups. He posted comments at the rate of two per minute every hour of the day over a seven-week period. Eventually, his wife of 26 years found his emaciated body at his computer, dead of starvation. "He was glued to his computer 24/7," she said tearfully. "He was so afraid that he was going to miss an opportunity to contribute a comment or start a discussion, that he just stopped eating." She added that Wanamaker's last words were, "OK, Picard, stick that in your pipe and smoke it...."

Full Story at MediaDailyNews

Thanks YouthWorker e-Journal!


BlogRoll This!

My friend Mikey (Of Mikey's Funnies Fame!)is now part of a new group blog (ThinkChristian) that talks about Christ, culture and the ways that faith plays out in everyday life. I'm looking forward to reading more from them and especially Mikey since his blog is 100% focused on the Internet and building web sites.


Can You Keep A Secret?

I've had a secret for about 8 years and now I'm going to share it with the world. I have a secret store on the internet that I love and only told a few friends and fellow bibliophiles about. That store is Kregel's Used Christian Bookstore in Grand Rapids, MI.

Kregel is a small conservative book publisher and their 275,000 used Christian books are all on sale because they are going out of business. For now, every book is 28% off when you check out. (I'm sure the discount will go higher if you are willing to wait, I wasn't.) I ordered to my hearts content today. THE find however was "Tough Faith: The Search for Honest, Durable Christianity" by Mike Yaconelli (Like the pic of young Yac?) in 1976 for $3.50. It'll be interesting to see how a 34 year old Yac wrote and ranted. I bought three of them. One for me and two to give to a couple of friends who I'm sure will appreciate them. And in case you think you are one of those friends, e-mail me before you buy it. I was planning on giving it to you in Sacremento. :-)

There are 6-7 of "Tough Faith: The Search for Honest, Durable Christianity" left in case you want to pick one up.

Interlinc Leson is done!

And the angels rejoiced, or at least I did. I just wanted to share my happiness. This one was about 5 days late because so much stuff is going on with ministry stuff. All good, just a ton of stuff. So one to-do thing is off my list.

Now to do one more thing. . . . . go to bed!


But Could He Survive Chubby Bunny?

My family watched the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN today. I just happen to be flipping the channels and found it. Kobayashi won, of course. He's approaching Lance Armstrong legend status with his 5th straight win. 49 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Holy Cow! Watching it reminded me of my favorite Hot Dog joint in the world, Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, CT.

Watched the Yankees win today over the Orioles, so I was actually pulling for the Yankees since the O's are in 2nd place in the AL East. I'm watching the Cubs play the Braves right now. I rarely watch the NL but my nephew is a huge Cubs fan and he's in the stands with a sign, so wer'e looking for him on the third base line. I'll get to watch some of the Red Sox tonight before we go watch fireworks.

Family, hot dogs, baseball and fireworks. It's a good 4th of July!

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