AL East Champs!


11 Things About Me

I got this in an email from John Losey and I figured it'd be fun to share on the blog and might become a meme.


a. Christian Bookstore Employee for 2.5 years in college and seminary.
b. Telemarketer: Outbound and inbound
c. Jackhammer operator for an industrial construction crew that worked on dams, this is of course, My Dam Job.
d. Youth pastor - best job in the world.


Only four?
a. Montgomery, AL (4th grade through college, this is home.)
b. Princeton, NJ
c. Fairfield, CT
d. Lubbock, TX


a. Red Sox games
b. Heroes
c. Boston Legal
d. Prison Break


a. Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY
b. Mexico City
c. Belieze
d. The Four Corners


a. Cheese enchiladas
b. Garlic Bagel
c. T-bone or Ribeye (Medium Rare)
d. New York City Dirty Water Dog


a. Boston to celebrate the Red Sox winning the AL East with Red Sox Nation
b. New York City because we love The City.
c. Ireland because I've never been there.


a. Gman
b. Chris C.
c. Scott Davis
d. You


a. I don't like shopping anywhere.


a. have something published in The Door.
b. see my daughters get married and have kids
c. Become as godly as possible
d. Finish my ninja training.


a. My parents
b. My wife
c. Bob and Louise Hollis (My Sunday School teachers in 10th grade)
d. Tom Calendar (Discipled me in college and loves me like a son, till this day)


a. Lord of the Rings Triology
b. Princess Bride
c. The Counte of Monte Christo
d. Dead Poets Society

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... send this to some people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you. Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.


Surfs Up!

The interview with Rick Bundschuh is up! Spread the word.


By Their Winks You Will Know Them

I listened to Mark Driscoll's message (session 3) today where he talks about Brian Mclaren, Doug Pagitt and Rob Bell and his concerns about some of their views, writings, endorsements, or doctrines. Many people have responded to the message by giving Mark a wink. Including but not limited to Tony, Riddle, Heidi, Adam, & Doug.

I don't get the "winks". Well, I know the origin of winking as a response to critics or as a stance in battle. But let me be clear on this, if someone called me or inferred I was a heretic, we'd definitely have a "conversation" about it and get things cleared up.

If Mclaren endorses the Jesus Seminar scholars writings, that's terrifiying to me.

If Doug sees nothing wrong with homosexuality and Christianity coexisting, that bothers me. I like Doug. Only interacted with him a few times in person many years ago. I have his new book as part of a facebook group before it comes out and he doesn't mind me sharing my questions or things that may be bothersome to some.

But what Driscoll talked about deserves to be addressed or shown to be wrong and a "wink" doesn't do that for me.

Guess I need to deconstruct my rationale. ;-)

What do you think?

Concert of Prayer

Sunday night we had a See You At The Pole Concert of Prayer for our students and we invited parents to come.

I wasn't sure what to expect but knew it was worth trying, so I tried. We are a notriously late people and with 5 minutes until the service started in the sanctuary, I thought it'd be me and a few students.

People arrived and I'd guess it was about 60% students and 40% parents. Not a bad percentage.

I explained what a concert of prayer was and that in effect, I was the conductor and would lead them through a variety of prayer items and they'd pray in different groups about different things. This sort of prayer time was probably a stretch for everyone because it was unfamiliar but it was good.

Amidst the middle of it we prayed for teachers in groups. I shared with them that I'd rather them pray 30 seconds a day while they walk into school for their teachers, their friends who don't know Christ and that God would use them to be Salt & Light rather then only pray for 30 minutes on Wed morning at SYATP. After I said it, I was reminded of Dino's SYATP Counter-Cultural Challenge.

The last prayer before the last songs was planned but I called an audible and changed the topic to something that just came to me. I called it a "Prayer Mixer" and they were to find a partner and pray a short 10, 20 to 30 second prayer for someone and then find another person to pray for or to be prayed for.

As I watched it and then began praying for a few people and having them pray for me I realized it had become a time to give or pray blessings upon each other.

It was a beautiful time to see people respond to what God was doing.

I heard from one parent that it stretched them but they needed to be stretched and I'm hoping to do it again and make it more of an official "church wide" concert of prayer.

Good Letter

Matt Mcgill wrote a good letter to a discouraged youth worker. We've all been there, and if you are there now, it might encourage you.


There is a word so dirty that when you say it in church the reaction is immediate, hostile, and horrified. A word that when uttered has cost many a minister his job and has been the catalyst of banishment for other believers. A word so feared that if it must be used it is couched in euphemisms or coded language. That dirty word is change.

Maybe we need to work less on the nuances of theology and more on our imagination. Maybe we need to have fewer meetings and more play time with each other. Maybe we ought to believe that each of uscould actually be what we dream---and mabye we should encourage and believe in each other's dreams. Maybe we should start by encouraging our adult people to dream.

Rick Bundschuh in
Don't Rock The Boat, Capsize It: Loving The Church Too Much To Leave It The Way It Is

Rick will be the next person interviewed on the Youth Ministry Interview blog. It's not up yet, but it's coming.


Singing Barefoot in Heaven for 10 Years

It was November or December in 1993 when I heard the DJ announce that Rich Mullins would be at the local Borders in Dallas to sign his new CD. This particular Borders was less then a mile from where we lived.

I went there the next day and was able to hear Rich and Beaker peform about seven songs with about a hundred of us gathered in a corner of the bookstore for the acoustic concert.
It was good to go to and it wound up being the only time I was able to see Rich in concert. I bought "a liturgy, a legacy & a ragamuffin band" there and I waited in line for Rich to sign my CD and have our 10 seconds of interaction. He signed it the way he signed most things he ever signed, "Be God's!" and a scribble of a signature.

I have all of his CD's and that one remains my all time favorite. While living in CT I let someone borrow the CD because even though it was a personal treasure, I didn't want to not share it. I think it's true that if you can't give something away that you own, you don't own it, it owns you. So I let them borrow it.

I never got it back and I'd look through my stuff hoping that perhaps I misplaced it but I could never find it. A month or so ago I opened up a box of misc CD's and thought I should put the songs I like on my computer and then put them up in storage. It was late at night when I started but I kept doing it. I reached down and got a worship CD that I liked, and opened it up and much to my surprise, I found the CD.

So after probably 3 or more years, I have the CD in a safe place. I'm going to put it and that CCM cover in a customized mat and have it framed for my office. Rich was and is one of my faith heroes. On the tenth anniversary of his singing barefoot in heaven here are a few of my favorite Rich Mullins quotes:

In terms of eternity, those people who did the greatest things for God were the people who weren't trying to do anything at all. They were just simply being obedient.

The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that benefits mankind. It is not the collection of pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice. It does not so much nibble at our shoe as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from bone to bone. It does not give us answers fitted to our smaller minded questions but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask.

We were driving through Nebraska and there was a big beautiful full moon and I don't know how it happens but I just thought well, the moon moved past Nebraska and spoke laughter on those cold Dakota hills. Buffalo Bill. (laughs) That was where it started. I went, "Oh I will use that someday. I have no idea where but I know I will use it." And so I just kind of stored it away. Then I was riding my motorcycle in the Flint Hills and pretty much finished the song there. This would have been six years later that I finished it. But I do that. I keep little scraps. I think writing-wise, I am probably more of a quilter than a weaver cuz I just get a little scrap here and a little scrap there and sew them together. . .
Rich Mullins commenting on
“Calling Out Your Name”

A spiritual thing is folding your clothes at the end of the day. A spiritual thing is making your bed. A spiritual thing is taking cookies to your neighbor that is shut in or raking their front lawn because they are too old to do it. That's spirituality. Getting a warm, oozy feeling about God is an emotional thing. There is nothing wrong with it. I think there is nothing more practical than real spirituality.

You don't write because the world needs your music, you write because you have a need to make order, to organize things. If you're a musician, you express that very human, very common need by making music. If you're a baker, you do it by making bread. It's all the same goodness, it just expresses itself in different areas.

I think creativity is a very Christian thing. I think if we are created in the image of God that means we're going to have and impulse to create.

It seems that I always am and always have been an outsider. I've never really fit in. I was always too religious for my rowdy friends-they thought I was unbelievably hung up-and too rowdy for my religious friends-they were always praying for me.

Our faith becomes real when we focus on what never changes instead of our ever-changing opinions.

I don't think you read the Bible to know truth. I think you read the Bible to find God, that we encounter him there. Paul says that the Scriptures are God's breath and I kind of go, "Wow, so let's breathe this as deeply as possible."

So don't get so hung up about how important you are in the Kingdom of God or who important you are to the growth of the church. It seems that God is always saying, "I'm not worried so much about how you're doing as much as I'm glad about who you are."

Let me tell you this-God will never give up on you. He will never stop loving you. That love is a reality no matter what you do or don't do. God does not call us to be angels; He calls us to be His, and to who we are in Him.

Rich's Articles


A Baseball Prayer


Doug Pagitt and John McArthur Talk about Yoga and Christianity

I report, you decide!

Doug just posted it, so thanks.


We Must Never Forget

McNair Wilson does a great job remembering how that day was covered in dust.

The Case for Christ DVD
I confess that I was skeptical about this DVD. I’ve read the best selling Case for Christ and I envisioned the DVD to be little more than the author behind a podium. I was wrong. It is very well produced and it makes common doubts and questions come to life by interviewing people and hearing their perspectives.

Author and host, Lee Strobel is a Yale educated former legal editor for the Chicago Tribune. His evangelical pedigree includes serving as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Church and Saddleback Church. This documents his two year investigation into the claims of Christ, the trustworthiness of the Bible, the Resurrection, and his ultimate decision to leave atheism and become a Christ follower.

It’s divided into five primary segments that give an introduction to the topic, examines the evidence, takes a closer look at Jesus, goes through different resurrection theories and how this process brought Strobel to a crisis of faith and how he became a believer.

This is easily watched in one sitting or it could be viewed one section at a time and then discussed with members of a class, your family or a skeptical friend. It captures your attention by interweaving Strobel’s personal story of coming to faith with man on the street comments, interviews with theologians and other scholars along with various findings and facts. There are two great bonus features. One is the faith stories of the various scholars who share how they came to faith in a variety of ways and the second is a deeper look into the uniqueness of Jesus.

The timeliness of this release couldn’t come at a better time with the AP recently reporting that one in four adults in America won’t read a single book a year. So all the non-readers and even slow readers could watch this and still reap a huge benefit from being exposed to the information and epistemological rationale of the Christian faith.

This is a dynamic resource for any believer to have. It can be given to a skeptical friend or viewed for personal growth. It would probably be best used within a class, small group or student ministry. I have never said this about any resource I’ve reviewed but every church in America that values equipping their people should have this easily accessible for anyone to view.

I wrote this for Christian Entertainment Review.

Freshman Year


The Rubik's Cube, the Hacky Sack and a Boom Box were all necessities.

Pet Cemetery by Stephen King was released.

At the movies you could see Flashdance, Mr. Mom, WarGames and most importantly, Return Of The Jedi

Cats wins the Tony for Best Musical

Everyone was singing, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police and anything by Michael Jackson.
On TV you could watch Riptide, Three’s Company, One Day at a Time and The A-Team.

And Len Evans began his 9th grade year, bussed 15 miles to Georgia Washington Jr. High School.


What is Real?
from The Velveteen Rabbit by Armand Eisen

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” sad the Skin Horse. “it’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY coves you, then you become REAL.”

“Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asks, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”


I used that story during our retreat and I got the idea from Wayne Rice's excellent but out of print Up Close and Personal: How to Build Community in Your Youth Group. It was published in 89 but I still love the entire book. If you want it, you can buy it for 45 cents or $49.99.

It's amazing how that story and these questions that I wrote:
How does this story make you feel? / What do you think about “being real”? What does that mean? / How could “being real” change the way we interact with each other in the youth ministry?

can open most students to talk with each other about being real and how they tend to fail at being real. The discussion has started and we all hope that it will continue so we can be a youth ministry and a church that allows, encourages and expects everyone to Be Real.


For Now

Many thoughts in my head but here's something pretty cool for now:


New Interview

The new interview is with Bill Allison of Cadre Ministries.

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