The interview with Brenda Seefeldt is up!
We're watching Iron Man this Friday @ 10:30 pm and then coming back to the church for a lock-in. We'll be waiting in line at the movies and I just finished writing these questions, use them if you want in anyway you want, if you'd like.
Q’s 2 ask while u wait n line.
1. Did you ever read comic books? What was your favorite?
2. If you could be any superhero who would you be? Why?
3. What’s your favorite food to eat while watching a movie?
4. Would you rather go to the theater or watch a DVD at home? Why?
5. If you could teleport to any place in the world right now, where would you choose?
6. Which of the X-men could Ironman beat, one on one?
7. Which of the Fantastic Four could Ironman, one on one?
8. Is there anything stressful in your life right now?
9. What is your favorite vacation?
10. Describe God in 10 words.
11. What is your dream job? Could do it for a living? Why or why not?
12. Who are your 3 best friends? How often do you talk with them?
13. What’s the best advice to give a person in the grade below you?
14. What does it mean to you to have a spiritual life?
15. How do you change things in your life to become better?
16. How often do you think about the future? What things would you like to happen?
17. What are top five things to look for in boyfriend/girlfriend?
18. If you could talk with one dead person for 3 hours, who would it be and why?
19. What’s the coolest gadget that you want?
20. Do you collect anything? Tell me about your collection.
21. What are you plans for the summer?
22. If you could go to any college, which one would you go to?
23. What are your favorite books?
24. What is the best superhero movie ever made?
25. If Batman borrowed Iron Man’s armor and it was powered by a very low level of Kryponite, could Batman beat Superman?
1. Who is your "Paul?"
Howard Hendricks says that everyone needs a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in their life. A “Paul” is someone who is spiritually mature and experienced to give wisdom and guidance. A “Barnabas” is an encourager and a peer and to share common experiences with as we journey through life together. A “Timothy” is someone younger in the faith to invest into. We need all 3 in our lives.
2. Rick Bundschuh's Preaching Podcast
Rick is the pastor of Kauai Christian Fellowship, surfer, youth expert, writer, speaker, cartoonist and friend. I enjoy listening to Rick's messages.
3. Seth ask, Is an artist only as good as those who love him?
4. Cool way one youth group used performing arts in ministry to their church.
5. Pastor's Wives Revolt!
We're having a lock-in this Friday and found something i've used in the past. Thought you might be able to use it.
1. Stress Reduction Kit (Use only in case of an Emergency)
2. Code Red: (Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but . . . . they became fully awake. Luke 9:32 CEV – Don’t fall asleep and be rebuked!)
3. PayDay (you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. Ephesians 6:8 – Surely there will be a reward in heaven for this kind of service.)
4. Jolly Ranchers (Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. . Philippians 4:4a – Even at 4am)
5. Rubber band (God might stretch you tonight)
6. Three 3 Musketeer’s (For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matt. 18:20)
7. Baby Bottle Pop (1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, - Crave God like that and let the students know that about you.)
8. Dove Soap (2But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:22-23a – Let this be us, too)
9. Conversation Hearts (Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 – Listen and speak to as many students as you can but focus on a few.)
10. IsoFlex Stress Ball (Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 – Let Prayer be our primary language during this event. )
For those who know me and my story it won't shock you that encouraging youth workers (especially hurting youth workers) is very close to my heart. I get occassional emails from youth workers replying to things I've had published over the years. Over this past month, I got two from different articles.
#1 I have never met you, but I just finished reading your article on the Youth Specialties web site (God is in Control...Yada...Yada...Yada) and I wanted to thank you for writing it. . . . . I just wanted to say that I appreciated hearing about another youth pastor who has cried with his wife over ministry issues and has really questioned staying or not.
I'd guess that this particular article has now reached 50 plus similar emails. I'm amazed by it's continued message to hurting youth workers and so glad that YS has kept it on their site.
#2 I too read your article from simply youth ministry. Just like you have done to many others, you have made me think. I have been a youth minister for 8 years and am currently studying to become a DIFFERENT PROFESSION. . . . . . I admit, I'm not happy in my local church and this has been the hardest year for me. Am I a quitter? I don't know. I worry that if I leave the local church that I am leaving my calling to youth ministry, even though the DIFFERENT PROFESSION involves ministering to youth. But honestly the thought of going to another church doesn't sound exciting to me. I'm so confused right now. I know you can't tell me what to do, man I wish you could, and I know you probably did not sign on to counsel youth ministers responding to your article. However, if you did have any thoughts on this to help out another youth minister, I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks!
What advice would you give to this second person?
Seth Godin asks, "Are you better at what you do than you were a month or two ago?"
Do you know the most common thing I hear from individuals just beginning to come to our church? They want very much to get to know some of us on staff, and they'll say, "You don't know me, but I come on Sunday to hear you preach." And they almost apologize, as if to say, "Hey, I'm sorry to take your time, but I just want to shake your hand." I go out of my way to say to each one, "You are as important as anybody else in this entire church. There is no insignificant member of the family of God." I don't say this to make a good public relations statement or to make a good impression. I say it because I believe it---because it's true. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you are special before the God who has chosen you.
1. Great resource from Jason Raitz via the YMExchange Newsletter, in case you aren't a subscriber: Communicator's Toolbox
I was very happy to see that my recommendation to Jason made it, Dr. Constable's Bible Study Notes. Dr. Thomas L. Constable wrote these (and are ever a work in progress) over a 25-year period, they span over 7,000 pages and present commentary on all 66 books of the Bible. He's the Department Chairman and Senior Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.
2. A Revealing Conversation
About a year ago I ran into a 23-year-old former student from our youth ministry on my way to visit one of our youth cell groups. This young man was a 9th grader when I was hired as youth pastor. The conversation went like this:
Him: “So, how many you got coming now?”
3. Why teens enjoy fast food and what youth workers can learn
I found an interesting post on why teenagers enjoy eating fast food. It got me thinking about what we (youth workers) can learn about why teenagers might enjoy being involved in a youth ministry. Look at a few of the reasons noted for why teens like fast food...
4. Evaluating our Motives in Ministry
Ministry can be a deceptive thing. We can begin to do ministry as a big fish in a small pond mentality pretty quickly (starting to think ministry is about us - rather than the bigger picture of being a small part of God’s grand epic - the unfolding and revealing of God’s Kingdom). We can begin to have poor motives - ambition; success mentality and using people to forward our own agenda can all start to seep in and get mixed into our “ministry approach.”
I often joke with friends that my spiritual gift is networking because of my vast web of friendships. (I wrote an article for Group a few years ago that I have on PDF about networking if anyone wants a copy, just email me.) Part of it is because of my natural stengths, (Belief, Learner, Woo, Connectedness, & Intellection) part of it is by circumstances but also it's because I think those of us with this gift make good intial connections and we maintain those connections. (I'd put Riddle, McNutt, Jason, Adam, Mindi, Patti and a few other friends in this category.)
I joined LinkedIn two or three weeks ago and have 68 connections there from friends who were predominiantly already using their service. Here's my LinkeIn Profile, in case you already use it or if you are thinking about it.
LinkedIn lets you post full business info on it like your resume and past jobs. I got a notification that Dave Palmer had accepted my LinkedIn request to connect with him. Dave is the new vice president of marketing at Youth Specialties and on their Exec Team. So new, that there's not even a bio yet for him on the YS Staff page. I worked for Dave while he was the head advertising guy for The Journal of Student Ministries. (Worked used very loosely since I never actually made one ad sale for them during the madness of the time period where I was working whatever jobs I could find to help feed the family.) But we talked a few times and we've stayed in touch via facebook randomly.
So I went to Dave's work section just to get to know him better and saw that he had worked as the VP of marketing for Squint Entertainment during the hieght of Sixpence None the Richer's success. So I messaged him on facebook told him that I hosted the stop for Sixpence in San Antonio (at Alamo Heights UMC) when they were promoting their album that had "Kiss Me" on it and I thought it would have been funny if he had been there but doubted it because of his title. Well, he was there and remembered the stop because it was the last stop on the promo tour and he rememberd my other friend Greg Carnes. So whenever I should eventually meet Dave at a NYWC it'll really be a reunion.
This stuff happens to me more regularly than most, which is why I say, "Networking is my Spiritual Gift".
And this happened yesterday, I watched the first part of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast (It's also a video feed) because Andy & Chris post it on Twitter (SYM Twitter List yet, McGill isn't on it, I'm sure it's an oversight and not personal, well. . . . maybe not 100% positive.) when it's about to happen. While listening to it there is a chat feature for those who are online. The SYM team asked who was going to the PDYM deal in Dallas. Someone mentioned they were 6 hours away from Dallas in the chat so i asked them where and they are in a church near Lubbock.
Chatted a bit online then left to pick up my daughter and while on the way, I called the church talked to him and we're having lunch next week. Chris is a 24 year old youth pastor and he friended me on facebook last night.
Like I said, networking is my a spiritual gift.
I talked to the Patron Saint of Weight Loss for Youth Pastors today, Mr. Matthew McNutt.
Matthew and I have been friends since we were in the same youth pastor network in CT with Mark Orr, before Mark was the NNYM Cooridnator for New England. I remember encouraging him in a parking lot about writing when I figured it'd be the last time I ever got to see him, face to face. (We wound up being roommates in 06 at the NYWC) He's now addicted to Twitter, BTW.
Anyway, called him just to let him know that I've now officially lost 20 pounds and wanted him to know. I have not lost as much as Marko, Riddle, Ken and many others in the "Bigger Loser than Marko" contest but over time I'll get there.
I have been a bad blogger as of late (you can define how far back it goes). Been busy, sure, and lots going on, mostly good. But thought today that maybe part of it is i've stopped just rambling my thoughts and letting them stick to the proverbial blog wall regardless of the kind of shape they are in. That's the essence of blogging, IMHO, throwing thoughts out there for friends, strangers and future friends (and the occasional cyber stalker) to see, affirm, trash and otherwise interact with.
So, I will try and get back in that groove and not aim for everything being clean and making sense.
Today's ministry thoughts:
Had a lunch with someone from the church and while I was waiting for them, I was busy updating the Palm and thinking of all the things i had to do, should have already done, and dreamed of doing eventually.
Then it hit me, I wasn't there. I was there physically and ready to get together with my friend but i had not prepared my heart or soul for our conversation. So I put the Palm down and tried to just think about what I knew about the person, circumstances and life and pray about them and our meeting. Praying that I would be there and be aware of what he said beyond the words, that I might have an eternal moment while we were together.
It was an encouraging time and reminded me of the article I had read earlier today about spiritual friends.
I finally have a space in our house that is 100% mine. The Red Sox Man Cave.
It is only about 11 x 13 but it's all mine. (With much love and appreciation to my wife, of course.) We moved into the house in June and we wanted to build a wall almost as soon as we moved in but I didn't know how to. A friend from church did so we waited until he was able to do it.
The wall was complete around a month or more ago but all the finishing pieces are now finally in place.
So bask in the wonder that is The Red Sox Man Cave as you take this virtual tour.
Pic #1 The quote on the wall was originally scribed by Mike Barnicle when he worked for the Boston Globe. It says:
Baseball is not
a life or death matter. . .
but the RED SOX are!
It was the finishing touch for the room.
The lettering came fr0m a new company, Upper Case Living. In case you or a spouse is looking for a good home-based busines, get in now while not many folks have heard about it.
Three of the five walls are lined with Red Sox baseball cards along the trim as a border. They are not common cards but rather a collection of my personal favorite Red Sox players. Some were not great players but they were great Red Sox players or i just liked something about their style.
The red wall is part of the wall we put in and we put the anique stained glass and smokey window in it. From the other side, it's perfectly centered and the kitchen view is what's important, after all, in a Man Cave, who cares if it's centered?
HomeDepot had carried MLB's offical colors as part of their Team Colors stuff but when we were finally ready to buy the paint, they had stopped carrying it.
We were ready to try and guess the colors but thanks to the wonders of computers the codes for the paints were still in the memory despite not "carrying them." So if you want your own Red Sox paint colors have HomeDepot paint man look up BRS Red & BRS Navy.
The Nomar jersey on the chair was a gift from a family from our church in CT. God Bless them.
Pic #3 Here's the wall that we built. (man grunts) Hoping to eventually have a RedSox Fathead of one type or another on this wall but for now it's a baseball card montage of my favorite Red Sox players.
The beanbag chair was a gift for my daughter a few years ago and she has decided to let it rest in that corner. The black and white pic has Babe Ruth in it when he was a great pitcher with the Red Sox.
Yes, that is my YankeesHater hat. Let's just say after a certain moment in 2003, I was more about the hate for the Yankees than love for the Red Sox, for a while. Despite that animosity towards the evil empire, and believing that God did hate the Fenway Faithful, I never gave in fully towards the negativity and bought the "Jesus Hates The Yankees" t-shirt. Instead I believed it was up to us to Battle Evil for the Good of the Game! (Full Disclosure: I wanted to buy the t-shirt but by wife kept rambling something about "being a bad example for your children" or something, so I surrendered and instead used that picture as my desktop.)
Yes, that's my daughters Red Sox Mr. Potato Head in the secretary. For all my youth ministry friends who are still with me, check out the "Church and Modern Youth" published in 1963 from Zondervan in the bottom right corner. One more tidbit, I found a 2nd copy and gave it to Marko as a thank you (for letting me write the book) gift.
The mini-pennant was from Build a Bear and the Ted Williams Bobblehead was a Christmas gift, that is a collectable and no longer available.
On top of the window is a 2004 World Champions License Plate frame.
The picture next to the window is a picture of the 2003 Red Sox. The 2003 Red Sox were one of the better offensive teams in the history of baseball. If you doubt that, think about this: the 2003 AL batting champion Bill Mueller batted 7th in the lineup with an avg of .326.
The center picture is a cross-stitch that my wife made for me before or right after we were engaged in 1990 while living in Montgomery, AL. When you come visit my house you'll see there is a red "B" on the batters helmet.
The wall clock was a Christmas gift, this past year.
The 2007 World Series Pillow and the Fenway Park Blanket were also Christmas presents this year.
That particular Wally the Green Monster had to be ordered from the Build-a-Bear Workshop in Boston for my daughter.
You can't see it but the patch on the backpack came from a trip to Fenway when Tonja was 8.5 months pregnant with our oldest in 1999. She promised me if she went into labor during the game, we could name her Fenway, alas, we went with a family name.
That poster of Ted "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived" Williams is from the Boston Globe's tribute edition when he died in 2002. It'll get framed one day but for now, push pins will do. (Multiple Man grunts!)
We were in Boston on July 22, 2002 and walked through Fenway for the Memorial Event.
The trash can was a 25th birthday gift from the youth group in Princeton, NJ given to me at a surprise birthday party. The other side is a Red Sox Bottle that was full of popcorn topped by a Red Sox basketball you can win in claw game.
Bottom Shelf: The Red Sox ice cream container has Red Sox baseball cards in it and on top of the container is a postcard of Carl Yastrzemski's Hall of Fame Plaque.
Two Wheaties boxes, one with Josh Beckett and the other with Pedro Martinez on the front.
Middle Shelf: I bought that Red Sox hat with the 2004 World Series patch on it when I went to a party (with 3.2 million of my close Red Sox friends) known as the 2004 World Series Victory Parade.
Under the hat is my Jim Rice Signature Series Wilson Glove from when I was a kid.
Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Collector DVD Set retails for $129.99 is on sale for $79.99 but I got mine on sale for $34.99 when A&E (of all places) had a sale. I'm a Red Sox fanatic but i'm still cheap . . . er . . . frugal.
A 1989 Carl Yastrzemski Commerative plastic cup from Texaco. This was a gift from an elder at the church Princeton who was a HUGE Yankees fan. Despite that, we were friends and we actually went on a road trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY together before I left Princeton in 1997.
In the back is a commerative baseball from the 2004 World Series. Bought it in the Hartford Airport on clearance for $5. Books include Baseball is for Everyone by Joe Dimaggio (first printing from 1949 and it was my dad's), Big Papi, Faithful, Now I Can Die in Peace, Red Sox Century and a few others.
Top Shelf: Picture of the bloody sock, Pumpsie Green's 1960 card, (first black player to play for the Boston Red Sox, which was the last team in MLB to have black players, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier) 1968 Carl Yastrzemski, a Carl Yastrzemski game used bat card, Mo Vaugh Starting Line Up figure, David Ortiz figure, Red Sox Uno Cards, Wade Boggs rookie card, a couple of baseballs, dirt from Fenway and the picture of us sitting in the visitors dugout at Fenway.Pic #9
Top of Bookcase:
A Nomar Garciaparra figure, a game worn jersey card of Nomah (It was in my daughter's Easter basket this year and she let's me display it there.), pic of the 2004 team, a Pedro Martinez figure, and my only McFarlane figure, Jason "The Captain" Varitek. Don't worry, the candle you see on the right corner is a part of the Mandle - The Candles for Real Men line and it's Glove Scented.
Thanks for taking the tour.
I'm planning a talk for parents in a month with the working title of:
"From Webkinz to Facebook - Your Teen & Technology"
any advice? stories? sites?
1. “So far as focusing investigations, we investigate where the threat is coming from. The threat is coming from Islamist extremism. It’s not coming from Calvinism,”
Attorney General Michael Mukasey when asked to defend extra scrutiny given to militant Islamic groups by the Justice Department.
2. opt in leadership by Matt McGill
So here it comes: I probably hate leadership. I hate inspiration, motivation, and persuasion. I especially hate persuasion when that's a thin mask that's trying to hide manipulation. I hate what most people would seem to consider leadership.
I'm much more for the opt in: "follow me." Here's what I think is best, and hopefully you agree. Maybe you don't, then speak up. Let's talk about it and discover together what's best. I'm for earning trust, not manufacturing it. There are two kinds of things you do in the world: things you really want to do, and everything else you do. I want to lead people who really want to follow me (as I follow Jesus...I AM talking about a ministry context).
I spoke at a Christian college's chapel in the fall and challened the students to consider missions. The students there were like many - they understood the problems of poverty and injustice that exist around the world and they want to go help. They dream great dreams - some dream about starting orphanages in Africa, others dream about helping young Thai women get out of the sex trade. And when I challenged them, a good number responded.
But afterwards one of the leaders explained why the response wasn't greater - it's the problem of debt. The average student debt level there might be about $30,000 when they graduate. So as they begin to take steps to put their dreams in motion, they run smack dab into the brick wall of debt.
A while back Mikey asked me if I would be willing to write a quick blurb for his Mikey's Funnies. I did and last week it appeared in The Journal of Student Ministries e-newsletter.
By the way, in case you don't subscribe to The Journal of Student Ministries, do it here and get it for $20 vs the normal $39.95.
I talked with someone today who shared something their child is going through.
It was very hard to hear what's going on. In the big picture, things could be worse but for a variety of reasons, this one hit me hard.
It's hard to think of other times where my empathy for what someone was going through hit me so hard. It was a deep, hurting empathy that numbed me for about 30 minutes.
The level of hurt that hit me really took me by surprise.
I think it's a good thing, I'm not sure what it means but I'm trying to discern God's activity in it. It feels like new territory for me to deal with on matters of my soul. I don't like dealing with new territory.
I'm praying for the family and not as a matter of "I should" or it's the "spiritual thing to do" but rather i have an inner burden to do this for them and with them. The sobering thought so far is it causes me to realize, once again, that ultimately I can't do much for my students or my own kids to make them do the right things.
I hope that this internal wrestling on other levels, too, causes me to become 1/2 the husband, father and pastor I dream of being.
When you are feeling undisciplined (a very, very common feeling), lack of discipline is not your real problem…it is your lack of motivation.
For example, the self-discipline of waking up early and getting ready for school may be a problem for your children…except on Disneyland day…right?
When you are motivated, discipline is never the problem. Instead of “forcing yourself” to be more disciplined, focus on setting clear, inspiring priorities for the future. Increased self-discipline will be an automatic by-product.
By Bob Biehl from QuickWisdom.com
What are your favorite podcasts?
Youth ministry, health (McNutt), business, preaching, whatever.
My boy Grant has gotten 69 comments so far on his latest article. So read it, pile on him or praise him; either way, you won't be alone.
Tossing Aside the Tract: Why Pretty Much Everything I Was Taught about Evangelism Is Wrong
We were at a student conference getting “trained” on how to witness to people.
I sat and listened with my youth group. There were more than 600 students in the room.
The guy up front was walking through a pamphlet I’d read at least a thousand times.
“Do you know that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?”
I hate that question. It sounds eerily familiar to a former friend of mine who tried to sell me Amway.
by - Stan Toler
1. Is it honest, without being petty?
2. Will it bring hope or help? Or will it bring hurt?
3. Will the giver and the receive be better because of it?
4. Does it reflect the attitude of Jesus Christ?
5. Will the receiver learn something positive from the communication?
Learning to be a leader means learning to be a communicator. Leadership principles are useless unless they are put into action--and into words. Poet William Yeates said, "Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. Spirit-controlled words, spoken or written, will always be in the language of the people.
A few weeks ago, the YMExchange Newsletter featured an article by Adam called, You Matter to Your Schools.
I thought about calling them and finding out if I would be able to do anything with the school as a volunteer but as is often the case, plans remained plans instead of becoming actions.
Well, I finally called Monterey High School late today and talked to a counselor for about 5-7 minutes. Told her I was a local resident and my daughter would probably be going there (magnet students can choose between the different schools in our city) and I was curious if there was anything I could do for the school for about 2-3 hours per week. Told her even though I was a youth pastor, I didn't want to start a bible study but just wanted to contribute to the community and my schedule allowed me some flexibility to do that with the school during the week. She thought the Bible Study would be great but understands all the issues involved.
She gave me the name of a person in the district office to talk with. I'll call them tomorrow, so we'll see what I'll be allowed to do. So if you wanna pray with me about what this might mean, that'd be great. Thanks.