Grad School and the Books I'm Reading

I'm taking 12 hours from Liberty's Distance Graduate progam so I can fullfill the 72 hours required for the military to become a chaplain. I had to get permission to take 12 because 9 is their normal full time load. Thankfully 5-6 of them only have 1-3 required chapters to read.

I'm a little behind but I think I'll be caught up and probably even ahead in my classes, readings and assignments by next week. I've got 3 days to just work on school stuff and work out since my family is gone for the weekend. Love them and miss them but it came at a good time.

(I enjoyed my blog break from school stuff.)

1. Intimate Relationships

2. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last!

3. Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy

4. Marriage Counseling: A Christian Approach to Counseling Couples

5. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

6. Psychology of Religion for Ministry

7. Invitation to the Psychology of Religion

8. How to Help People Change : The Four-Step Biblical Process

9. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

10. Bondage Breaker

11. Boundaries in Marriage

12. Effective Biblical Counseling

13. Anxiety Cure

14. Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes

15. Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling

16. Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations

17. Hurt People Hurt People: Hope and Healing for Yourself & Your Relationships

18. Telling Yourself the Truth

19. Gifts From the Heart: 10 Ways to Build More Loving Relationships

20. The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy

21. Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods

22. Process of Change


Articles for You

1. Moral climate change in Britain by Terry Mattingly
Have British citizens lost the ability to exercise their free speech rights in public defiance of demands by many Muslim clerics and politicians for limitations on the freedom of the press in the West?

*Related Note* The newest book added to my Amazon Wish List: While Europe Slept : How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within

2. In Good Time
Make the most of your precious minutes with a time-management system that works.

3. The Spiritual Problem With Teens: They're Following Us
Recent sociological studies are revealing a growing scandal within American Christianity. Many of our churchgoing teens are not Christian or, perhaps, are marginal believers who profess religious ideas that represent an astonishing departure from historic Christianity.

4. Area Code, Sweet Area Code
In a city known for its revolving door of youngprofessionals, many a mobile phone number proves that homeis where the cell is.


Catching Up with Two Mates

My last NYWC was in Dallas in 2004 and it was a great time amidst some troublesome times in our life. I worked the YouthWorker Journal booth for Will and those few days were surreal in so many ways. Mark graciously asked me to join him and others on late night panel and I signed 6-7 copies of my book as people would say, "Are you the Len Evans who wrote this?". When I returned home, I was fired from my job working for a lawn maintaince company. Like I said, surreal.

I've always said that my favorite part of going to the convention was hanging out with old friends and making new friends. Two of my new friends were Jim and Martin from the UK. Jim works in a local church and for a Christian publishing company and Martin is the editor for YouthWork. This past week I discovered Martin's blog and wrote him a note and caught up with Jim, too. They will be in Charlotte this year for the NYWC and I wish I could go, just to hang out again with them. (So if you go to Charlotte and see them, tell them "hi" for me.)

It's amazing how people can get together and truly connect despite not having much history together and that happened with both of these friends as we talked about God, life and ministry. They were among some friends that I was able to hang out with and experience a taste of what authenic fellowship must be like. Plus, I learned to cheer a little during a soccer match and they learned that the Red Sox would finally win in 2004.


Two Thumbs Up?

I'm officially a movie reviewer; DVD reviewer, to be precise. (I write reviews for Christian Entertainment Review and it's a fun writing gig.) I am the whipper snapper to Dr. David Mains who is the other half of our DVD Dynamic Duo. David is a pastoral stud who created the 50 Day Spiritual Adventures and is a ministry veteran and coach.
Here are the reviews:
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Big Question
Portrait of Courage: The Untold Story of Flight 93
On a related writing note: I'm working on a youth ministry project (not a book) for some friends. I'll share more as it gets closer to "going public".


Do you like the cover?

My friend Tim Baker is taking a poll about the cover of his new devo book for teens.

If you would, please visit his blog and leave a comment. Thanks.


Baseball is Around the Corner!

"The World Series win in 2004 proved to be a potent sedative that lasted for all of the 2005 season. Powerful as that was, in 2006 Red Sox Nation will emerge once again from it’s suspended state of animation, and return to it’s irascible self. As Red Sox fans it is our birthright to complain and so we shall once again!"

Jerry Remy
NESN Announcer & original "dirt dog"


Misc Articles

1. Air Force Revises Guidelines on Religion
See? It really did boil down to a first ammendment issue. :-)

2. No, I'm Not Your Best Friend: There's a good reason pastors and associates don't feel like friends. It's more important than that.

3. Interview with Johnny "Mr. Red Sox" Pesky

4. Cleric Convicted of Stirring Hate: Abu Hamza al-Masri was sentenced to seven years in jail for sermons that encouraged his followers to murder non-Muslims.

5. James Bond's next ride is again Aston Martin


Modern Day Miracle!

The other day I went to the gas station to put $15 or so into the gas tank. Drove up, did the rote routine, insert card, press regular unleaded, pump gas and dream of paying less.

After 20-30 seconds I looked at the numbers turning for the price and the gallons and it was weird because they were almost the same. I then looked at the price and it was $1.18 a gallon!

I knew something had to be wrong but I kept pumping the gas unitl I reached $20 and my tank was full. I went inside to tell them that something had to be wrong with the price and as I did, the manager said, "You got a heck of a deal, didn't you?"

I said, "Yes sir and I knew something was wrong so I wanted to come in and tell you guys in case you didn't know."

He said he appreciated that but they knew as soon as it happened. They were changing the prices on the computer, someone typed in the wrong price and before they could clear it, I put my credit card in and thus, locked in that price.

He told me again that he appreciated it because 2-3 years ago someone typed in the wrong price and the employees didn't catch it and none of the customers came inside to tell them. They got gas at 25 cents a gallon and the company lost thousands of dollars that day.

I go to this gas station almost daily for the 59 cent fountain drinks, diet of course and they all know that I was a youth pastor and I'm trying to become a chaplain. As thankful as I was for the cheap gas, I was more thankful that I walked in to tell him because it would not have been worth losing my reputation for cheap gas.


Before & After

I've now lost over 60 pounds and I decided to shave my head last night just to see what I'd look like. I did not recognize myself. Partially because I have had either a beard or gotee since 1992. My daughters wanted to know who the stranger was in their house.

I went in for the tape test to begin the official paperwork with the Army this past week. I will probably never get the official weight requirements but I can pass the body fat test, which is a combination of your height, neck size and waist measurement. I have to reach 24% body fat to be an officer (enlisted soldiers can be 30%) and I'm currently at 26.4%. The good news is if I lose about another 1 1/4 inches around my waist, I'll be low enough to enlist.

I still want to lose at least 10 more pound and 20 would be super before June but for now, I'm focusing on neck excercises to make my neck bigger and doing things to reduce my waist measurement.

Leave any comments about the differences you see of if you know that second man or not? Personally he reminded me of too many mug shots, I've seen on TV and Movies. :-)

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