Pray for me.

God knows why.

Thanks. :-)


My Visit to Youth Ministry Land

I took a stroll into Youth Ministry Land today. I went to the free lunch in Austin hosted by YS as they talked about the upcoming convention. I went with the youth pastor at my church where I volunteer. We had a good time just hanging out during the hour or so drive.

We arrived at the location about ten minutes early and saw Tic and Mindi. (I apologize again for almost causing you to miss the exit because I distracted you when I called at a bad time, my bad.)

Tic and I talked for a few minutes and caught up on my life and a mutual friend who I had talked with earlier that day. We've talked a few times over the years but I was amazed on how current he was with things going on with me. He was such an encourager about the past and the future without giving trite answers. It was good to hear things that I knew were true. Tuck this away in the "FWIW" folder: Tic is the same guy whether he's on stage, training others, hanging out, talking one on one or in one of those goofy videos.

I then sat down and enjoyed a Chik-Fil-A sandwich. (had to give them a link, they gave away free food so the least I can do is provide some grassroots promotion for them.) Mindi was finally able to sit down and we chatted and caught up with each other. Talked about losing weight stuff and other stuff. She's lost a ton, too. (When we talk about losing weight these days we can't help but wonder how much weight Matthew "Mr. Big Loser 3" McNutt has lost and what he looks like now.)

I also saw 2 other guys that were at different booths at the 2004 Convention I attended and will be in Austin. Some giveaways and then Tic shared. He then asked people to share why they kept going back to the conventions and they were varied but similar. The common factors were to be renewed and reminded of why they love youth ministry.

It was good to visit Youth Ministry Land and to hear good reminders of why it's so important to be involved with this critical ministry. It was refreshing to be around 60-70? youth workers. It'll be great to be around 2,500 - 3,000 youth workers in October.

Boston’s Big Bopper

Don't blame 'Big Papi' for the Red Sox's struggles. He remains the MVP favorite.


Mark Driscoll vs. Mainlines

Great Quote: The most left-leaning end of mainline Protestant Christianity is much like an insane asylum where the prisoners have taken over. from a great article

Scum of the Church: How the drive for “excellence” is driving young adults from the church

Every generation is quick to point out the hypocrisy of the one that preceded it. The generation born just after WWII began rejecting the values of their parents during the '60s. Now it's their kids’ turn.

Today’s young adults see a generation of baby-boomer Christians that has striven for "excellence" in every part of church life. Boomers proclaimed in the 1980s that image is everything, and their churches have reflected that cultural trend. The nurseries have got to be sparkling clean, the church buildings are marvelously functional as opposed to artistic, the music is as close to FM radio quality as possible(even if they must hire a band), the Sunday services are seamless with perfect transitions (just like television), the preaching is entertaining and informative (but not so deep as to offend visitors), and the plants on stage are beautiful (but artificial).

As a result, according to Dieter Zander, the next generation has concluded that "everything is image," and therefore nothing can be trusted. Church is too slick, too good, too polished to be real. And the twenty-something hunger for raw authenticity just doesn’t fit in.
Read the rest of the article

You Are 72% Healthy

Your diet is quite healthy, but you don't too crazy with what you eat.

You know how to eat what's good for you, but you're also careful not to deprive yourself.

How Healthy Is Your Diet?

A New Kind of Youthworker Description by Mike King

Mike is the author of the soon to be released Presence-Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation and this is a great article in case you haven't read it, yet.


Baseball & Epistimology

I'm a part of a Red Sox Message Board (It's the Geekiest thing I do) and I thought those that read this would enjoy the interaction of baseball and epistimology.

Someone wrote: If we survived 2004 (.500 ball for 2 or 3 months, the Nomar trade, down 0-3 in the ALCS) like I think we did, then there is no doubt in my mind that we still have a chance now in 2006.

Yes this past weekend has been some of the most pathetic baseball I have seen the Sox play in awhile (probably since the infamous 2001 season's slide to barely above .500).

But I still believe.

Which is more then you guys can say.

I responded with: The issue isn't belief, we all believe in the Red Sox and we have been and will be members (but not the card carrying kind) of Red Sox Nation.

The issue is what do we believe in. We believed in the 2004 team because the dynamics and elements of that particular team were so much stronger.Does anyone believe in this years team so much they are willing to line up our current roster to that one, compare them, and say 2006 is a better team?

I believe in the Red Sox and I believe we are very bad right now with not many realistic possibilities of making the necessary dramatic changes. I hold out hope for this years playoffs but I wouldn't put my money where my heart is.

Notice the classic name calling at the end of the first post?

I talked to a young co-worker this week about "belief" and "being sincere" in your beliefs. They felt the important thing was you were sincere and you could believe whatever you wanted. I did not give direct answers to her but rather asked her a ton of questions about what she was saying and how she came about to those beliefs.

I enjoy the correlation of whether is was about "belief" in the Red Sox or discovering a faith that is real or if there is ONE faith, you approach it in similar ways.

Armor of God PJ's

Today's Topic is: Armor of God PJ's - inspirational idea or Jesus Junk for the school aged set?

Talk amongst yourselves.

HUGE tip o' the hat goes towards Tim Ellsworth


Yankee$ vs Red Sox (5 games in 4 days)

I love this stuff. I wish we were in the lead but 1.5 games behind (after the O's trashed the Yanks yesterday) is bearable. It wouldn't feel like a Sox season without some drama but I'd love one year to have a big lead the whole time. (Ala, 84 Tigers) Oh well, this year is what it is.

I want to call in sick and just eat peanuts, brats, and junk food for the whole day and watch the games. I hate being a responsible adult.

Update: So glad I was a responsible adult and didn't get to watch much of the "06 Boston Massacre" Warning: These Truths Will Hurt. Congrats to LJ and his joy during my pain and for not rubbing it in, unlike some of my "friends" and you know who you are. ;-)


6 Degrees of Seperation

I talked to my oldest friend, Clint (we were next door neighbors and best friends from 4th grade though high school) and found out that we were classmates with Mark Hall of Casting Crowns in 9th grade at Georgia Washington Jr. High in Alabama.

He saw them in concert, recognized his face and name and went home to look in his old yearbook. There he was. He e-mailed Mark and Mark remembered him and replied back.

I don't remember Mark from 9th grade but I bet I'd remember him if I saw the old picture. I lost my 9th grade yearbook about a month after I got it. I looked for it for about a year because it had a cool wrestling picture of me and I pinned a guy in 9 seconds that year. Just thought it was random and funny and therefore worthy of a blog post.


Curriculum is like Hamburger Helper

I had this thought while talking to a youth ministry volunteer recently. He had expressed his hope that he'd be given a little more direction that "teach Romans" for the youth Bible study.

No curriculum is perfect, even my own. I talked to him about the wonders of curriculum and how it's good if you approach it like Hamburger Helper. You can follow the directions on the box and you have a meal. But if you want to make it your own; add dashes of your creativity and personality and adjust it according to your own families likes. So you add pepper, soy sauce, garlic powder, sour cream, cream cheese or your favorite dash of flavor.

Hamburger Helper is not gourmet food but it helps you when you are in a hurry and don't have time to cook a three hour home made recipe. This guy spends about 5 hours a week working on his lesson and he had so much material, he'd never cover it all with his students. He works like a maniac already so why would we want to give him more stress and more time away from his family?

If he was my volunteer, I'd rather him spend an hour an a half doing preperation using curriculum, and hour and a half doing stuff with students (a game, calls, e-mails, IM's, etc) and have 2 more hours for his own family each week.

For some reason I'm in the mood for stroganoff.


National Youth Worker Convention in Austin

I'm planning on going to the Austin NYWC and attendeing John Losey's Experiential Ministry Bootcamp, which is a Critical Concerns Course. I got this from John a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd pass it on:

Experiential Ministry Bootcamp—If you’re interested in going deeper into Experiential methods and theory I would love to see you at one of the Youthworker Conventions. I would also love your help. If you work with youth or at a church I would like to see your environment. Please send a digital picture of your room/teaching envi­ronment so I can see your world. (Subject - Teaching Environement Picture)

Share Your Story—I would love to hear how you have used what you have learned from The Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook. I want to hear the about your successes and frustrations so that I can improve the next two books in the series. If you don’t have a copy of this book than this is a wonderful excuse to get a copy (read as a shameless plug), try a few things and send me an e-mail about your experience. (Subject - EYMH Story)
John's e-mail is BearLosey @ sbcglobal DOT net.

John is a great guy despite being a horrible blogger. If you can help him out and help out other youth workers, I'm sure it'd be appreciated.

Getting Published: FWIW

I was e-mailed the following questions and here's my revised answers in case anyone should have the same questions and care about my answers. :-)

Len I have a book idea. I've written articles but how do you go about writing a book? How do you go about pitching it to publishers? Any help would be great!

I got lucky, meaning a lot has to do with being in the right place at the right time with the right people. I know Tony Jones would "amen" this thought. I was a known factor with YS because I wrote Tool Reviews for them for two years, sold them the YS Student E-Newsletter and got to hang out with the YS crew a little the year I spoke at the NYWC plus my idea was already a need (curriculum) and they needed a new one at the time of my idea.

If it's in you, get it out but know that it might just be for you and your ministry. I didn't write anything until I knew they wanted it. (Sample chapter after they liked the idea). I wrote mine in 7-8 months by giving 2-4 hours to it each night. (Research and actual writing)

Imagine writing a ton of articles. It is the proverbial elephant, you eat it one bite at a time but you have to have a plan for how you will eat it. Get your chapters figured out and titled and flow from there. I finished one and then went to the next. After they were all complete, I went back to review and edit them. (I edited along the way but the ultimate edit was at the end of the whole book.) I had to add a ton to the first 5 chapters because I found that my writing improved the more I wrote, so chapters 6-12 were so much better than the first ones. I got a 2 week extension to do those edits.

Publishers: Choose the ones that you think best fit you and what you want to say. The same way each writer has a "voice" so do publishers. So find the one that matches you the best. Most have guidelines today online for submissions.

These are 2 great books to consider buying.

Sally Stuart's Guide to Getting Published by Sally Stuart

Christian Writers' Market Guide 2006: The Reference Tool for the Christian Writer by Sally Stuart

Keep at it and try. Successful writing for me is in trying because you can't control if an editor or publisher will like your idea but you can control if you produce your ideas. I've been fortunate to have an above average of my ideas for articles to be accepted but I was content when I tried. Everything else is a bonus.

Hope that helps and if you need more details let me know.


A radical faith requires an abondonment that most of us are uncomfortable with because ultimately we desire security and stability in our circumstances and personal pursuits more than we desire security and stability in our Creator and passionate pursuit of God, himself.

I had those thoughts this weekend and finally wrote them down. Agree? Disagree? Half and half?


Big Matthew!

See that tall guy in the Maine t-shirt? That's Matthew McNutt and he's going to be on The Biggest Loser Season 3". I'm watching this season and here's his NBC bio and another pic. Here's an interview he did with his local paper.
Matthew was a moderator on the YS Message boards and we've been friends for 5-6? years now, I guess. We were in the same youth ministry network when I was in CT.
My favorite Matthew story is when he gave his elder board "Escape from Church, Inc." as Christmas gifts when he realized he was in a "Church Inc" and probably going to leave. The senior pastor told them not to read it and they didn't. 'Nuff said.


Big Papi!

We have reached the point in hardball history where teams are going to have to start walking Ortiz even if if means loading the bases to pitch to the modern Jimmie Foxx (Manny Ramírez). This was Ortiz's third walkoff homer this year, his seventh regular-season walkoff homer with the Red Sox, and the eighth regular-season walkoff homer of his career. He has two postseason walkoff homers. He has 15 regular-season walkoff hits and five walkoff hits in the last 51 days. He has 37 homers and 105 RBIs after 104 games. He hit 14 homers in July with 35 RBIs. He is the American League MVP at this hour. He is a player you might want to think about intentionally walking even if the bases are loaded. (Boston Globe)

ht2 to Brian who found it before I did.

Other Papi Stats:

Since 2004, Ortiz has come up 19 times in a situation where a walk off hit is possible. He's reached base 16 of those times for a .786 batting average (11 for 14 with 7 HR and 20 RBI). In 2005 and 2006, he is 8-for-9, with 5 HR and 15 RBI.

Ortiz's game-winner was his second home run of the night, his major league-leading 37th of the season, and his 14th in the month, the most ever by a Sox player in July. He equaled Jackie Jensen's record for most homers by a Sox player in any month (Jensen did it in June 1958). His four RBIs give him 105 for the season, the most any Sox player has had on the eve of August. Ted Williams and Vern Stephens each had 104 RBIs by July 31 in 1950.

David Ortiz has hit 21 home runs in 138 at-bats in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since Aug. 1, 2004. Over that two-year period, no other player has hit more than 13 homers in LIPS. Ryan Howard ranks second with 13; Andruw Jones, Albert Pujols, and Aramis Ramirez share third place with 12. Per ESPN

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com