Articles 2 Read

Flight holding patterns illustrate spiritual principles

God often has us in a “holding pattern,” when we simply have to weather the storms of life until He directs us to a safe landing. Two reasons for these times in our lives (based on 2 Corinthians 12:7–10) are to humble us and to exalt God.

Why I'm a One-Point Preacher by Andy Stanley

Every time I stand to communicate I want to take one simple truth and lodge it in the heart of the listener

A Different Path: Why Spiritual Formation is not an Option by Eugene Peterson

Why eulogies have changed by Terry Mattingly

Clergy used to deliver about 90 percent of all eulogies. Today, "that number is about 50 percent and it's falling,"

Christian Celebrities

Every available display table at the front of the store was full of the latest Joyce Meyer book entitled The Confident Woman. Beside the tables was a pallet with stacks of boxes, at least a hundred cases of the book. That’s when it hit me. She was here. Joyce Meyer, the queen of charismania was here. I moved into the store to discover several hundred people, mostly women, waiting in line to get her autograph. As they stood in line they discussed how “anointed" she was while clutching her books, posters, and bobble head dolls. Strangely, there were a few men in line as well. Most of them had just come from the Thomas Kinkade section where they were looking for a new picture to put above their aquarium.

13 ways to effectively reach out to your community's youth by Walt Mueller

Think understanding youth culture is out of your reach? Think again. Walt
Mueller believes it's imperative that those in ministry understand the
culture of the youth who walk through the church doors each weekend - and
those who don't. In this article, he shares 13 characteristics of ministers
who effectively reach out to today's youth culture.

Why we love the game by Paul Greenberg

One reason Americans love baseball is because it's so . . . American. An Italian exchange student who wanted to get a quick take on this strange country once asked me what he needed to know in order to understand America.

The best I could come up with on the spot was the U.S. Constitution, jazz and baseball. And not necessarily in that order. (Come to think, they all have this much in common: Each is a whole, interlocking composition made up of discrete riffs, the effect of which is much greater than the sum of its parts.)

You go into a baseball stadium with a certain childlike anticipation, and you should leave it with a certain mature wisdom. We go to baseball games for the same reason the Greeks went to tragedies. Baseball offers something of the same catharsis, the same sense of elevation after a game well played.

Blog Wisdom

Occasionally I post links to other blogs because for one reason or another I liked what they had to say and I think others would also enjoy them. So these are not my words but the words of others.

The New Teen Hangout by Mike Atkinson

NBC Slices and Dices 'Veggie Tales' bt Rev. Jeffrey

5 Lessons from Apple by YouthMinistryTV

Pastors: Superheros or Painfully Human? & Don't Confuse Being Busy with Being Important by Bill Allison

Touching those who have no hope by Seth Barnes


Red Sox 2006

I was hoping the Red Sox would make the playoffs for four years in a row and it seemed if all went well (it didn't) it was possible. It's tough to make the playoffs even with the Wild Card. Of course there are some Red Sox fans who've only been fans for a few years who are disappointed and moaning and whining. Welcome to the first 34 years of my life as a Red Sox Fan.

The bright spot has been David Ortiz and his 54 homeruns.


Ryan is having an Outrageous Office Contest and if you win you could win about $850 in prizes from Simply Youth Ministry.


Shiver Me Timbers!

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!


A Teen's Grasp of a Bible Verse



Some days I'm the best dad in the world

Today was one of those days.

simple reason: Lassie and "How to Eat Fried Worms" arrived in the mail to today so I could write reviews for Christian Entertainment Review.

Two little girls are happy and today, I'm the best dad in the world.


Five Years Ago Today

I was traveling to Hartford, CT to get some DMV stuff done for a church van. I heard about it on the radio and then talked to my wife. I stopped in a store for something and I watched the 2nd plane hit in the back of the store with the employees. We sat in silence and after 5 minutes or so I decided to head home.

I made it to back to church and I'll never forget the arrogance of one woman who told me, "I've done crisis counseling before, I'm prepared to help." All I could think was, "You are not prepared because there's never been anything like this before." I just told her "Thank you" and we'd call her if we needed her.

I went home to be with my wife and youngest, who was 2. We went to the beach to see if we could see the smoke across the Long Island Sound. We couldn't but we heard later that you could about 3 miles down.

Living in Fairfield, CT it hit close to us because 3 of our 5 neighbors worked in the Financial District and we didn't know where they were. They all got home safe but one of them worked in the WTC but had been in Dallas that morning. My dad worked in the Pentagon a few days a month then before he retired and I knew he probably wasn't in DC and even if he was, he probably wasn't in the section that was hit but it took 6 hours that day to get a phone call through to confirm that.

Our daughter's school (she was in 1st grade) the next day didn't allow anyone to talk about the attacks in class because there were enough students in the schools whose parents had not been found yet.

We had been in NYC about 4-6 days before it happened and just wondered what if we had been there. Another friend was one of the first responders and worked there for weeks. He still can't talk about all he saw at Ground Zero.

We Must Never Forget.


Nice Interview

Tim Ellsworth has a great interview with ESPN's Chris Mortensen - The Winning Spirit: Mortensen grateful for life’s blessings, salvation

Article in Group

An article of mine was published in GROUP this month: "An Army of One: A Blueprint for maximizing your impact by nurturing your relationships with area youth workers"

My working title was "Networking the Kingdom" I don't have a link for it but this is one of my favorite articles I've ever written. Here's the article as I originally wrote it a few years ago, not as pretty or as crisp as the one in GROUP but you'll get the idea. Networking the Kingdom


Labor Day is My Birthday
Everyone enjoy the day off and you are welcome. :-)

I'm now 37.


The E-mails I Don't Enjoy Getting

Occasionally I get an e-mail from someone who has read my articles online and because of my pain in the past they send me an e-mail telling me about their pain. (I think I'd classify as a "wounded healer" by now.) Here is the latest (edited for the web):

I just read your article "10 things that'll get you fired" in GROUP. Do you have any advice for a youth pastor who is just getting into the ministry and after a few months has been fired because the church wants to look for someone with more exprience?

1. You can't change them but you can change yourself

2. Trust God and his timing even when you think you know best.

3. Forgive them for not knowing themselves well enough for bringing you on board in the first place.

4. Be active in a good local church (Yes, they do exist and now you can find one.)

5. Volunteer in the youth ministry of that good local church and do all that you can to "shadow" that youth pastor so you can gain more experience and a great reference from someone who has seen you work and grow in your ministry with students.

6. Work on your own spiritual growth and soul first. Nobody will look out for your personal health but yourself so make sure you are watching "your life and doctrine closely" (2 Tim 4:16)

7. Pray for that church and ministry. The more you pray for them the faster you will forgive them and God may not change that church or the people/person who led to your firing but God will defintely change you as you pray for them.

8. If you are convinced that youth ministry is your passion and calling and it's a vocational choice for you, discover what your denominational tradition (if you are in one) typically requires of their youth pastors and try to meet as many of those standards for your future youth ministry path.

9. I have many friends, who for a variety of reasons, consider youth ministry their calling and passion but work at a different vocation to pay the bills. They tell me it's different than full time ministry but there are also elements that they love about being a volunteer and they don't want to change.

10. Know that God uses your pain to shape you into a better person and to be more humble. It's a difficult process but it's the only way to discover some things about yourself and your dependancy upon God. The church needs more humble pastors, be one of them when God opens the next door for you.

Those are my thoughts in your situation and here are two other articles of mine that have helped or encouraged others in the past.

God is in Control . . . Yada . . . Yada . . . Yada.

Reality Bites: And Some Churches Have Fangs

I hope that helps, I'm sure there is more that could be said but that's a good start. Thank you for trusting me during this situation, I hope my responses are an encouragement and reflect principles that will help you follow God's agenda for your life.

Keep Lovin' Jesus,


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