Thursday, December 27, 2007

Best of 2007: YMX Nominations

1. Best youth ministry book (copyrighted 2007)
getting students to show up by Jonathan McKee
Speaking to Teenagers by Duffy Robbins & Doug Fields
Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller

2. Best innovation (new thing.. chubby bunny need not apply, lifetime achievement there)
taco-in-a-bag (its new to me). Its been a great food idea for big or smaller events. We've also done variations on it - taco in a trash can, taco in a bowl.

3. Best worship song for use in youth ministry (copyright 2006 or 2007)
everything glorious by David Crowder*Band

4. Best Christian artist for youth ministry [who your students like the most; not limited to Christian labels or "CCM genre"]

Relient K
Aaron Shust

Discussion Starter?: Reserve a Spot in

As a Christian (not to mention a youth minister) I know that there is only one way to get to Heaven: through Jesus Christ. See Jn. 14.6

But there is a website offering another way, its called And for the right price ($13 for basic & $16 for VIP), you can reserve a spot in heaven for yourself or a loved one (they even have group discounts).

The VIP package description:
This exclusive package contains all necessary materials to get you into Heaven and experience all of the elite areas that are normally off-limits to normal citizens. If you want the entire Heaven experience then this is your package.

Heavenly issued certificate of reservation registered in the Book of Light™
A First class ticket to Heaven. Why walk those stairs when you can fly?
The Official Heaven Identification Card so you can get around without getting hassled.
Heaven 101 mini informational guide. Don’t be a victim of culture shock. Get acquainted with the land..
All access VIP pass. This pass will grant you access to “VIP exclusive areas” including the Land of Milk and Honey, where all the elite get together and kick it.
(basic package contains everything except VIP pass)

Use to start discussion on what it takes to get to heaven, salvation, can you buy your way to heaven?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Commitment & Love

All around the world, yesterday was Christmas. At my grandparent's house it was more. It was their 65th wedding anniversary. WOW! 65 years. I remember going to their 50th anniversary party when I was 14 (okay, so its not the clearest memories, but I do remember it).

As a youth minister, I am exposed to all sorts of family structures. I do not know the percentages, but it seems like a lot more of the students come from a broken family. Even some of the families I've known over the years are not separated or divorced. It seems like to some, staying married is not as strong of a desire as it was a few generations ago. Sometimes I get discouraged when I see all of the pain and brokenness that broken families can produce.

I have see some great people come from broken families, but I always wonder what could have been for the others (who do not adjust as well). Yesterday I was reminded that it is possible to stay married for the long haul.

So, there I was with an example of commitment and love standing in front of me. They have been in front of me for years, and each year the example grows stronger and stronger. You should just hear them talk about each other or reminisce about their wedding or just talk about their memories of the other - it is an honor to be a part of it all. Honestly, I do not remember anything but my grandparents being together and living in the same house they live in today. The impact is not new, I've always told people I wanted to grow up to be like my grandparents. I admire them in so many ways - not the least of which is their longevity in marriage. I pray Amy and I have a good 60 years (and more) of life together ahead of us.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Gen. 2.24

New Poll: Are you having a New Year Overnighter?

Simple Question: Are you having a new year overnighter?


I'm just curious if any of you are having some sort of overnighter for New Year's Eve. If there is anything unique or "cool" about it, please share in the comments.

Poll Results: Do you regift?

The votes are in. The gifts have been opened and some of them are already in the "regifting" pile in the closet. According to our poll...

66% (4 people) of you regift every year
16% (1 person) of you will not regift
16% (1 person) of you wonder why you would give away something that someone else gave to you.
2% of you were lost in the percentages.

Next time you regift make sure you are not giving someone back something they gave you!

Trivia Wednesday #49

answer #48 - "Bah Christmas"

question #49 - How many Gospels contain the nativity story? (bonus if you can name them)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

May the gift of Jesus Christ be more than enough.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jesus & Insecurity

Hebrews 4.15 tells us the Jesus understands our weaknesses, that He's experienced all of our temptations - yet He did not sin.

I have had a tendency, at various times in my life, to struggle with the feeling of insecurity. I was wondering, did Jesus struggle with insecurity? Did He ever feel insecure about something He did or said or what others were saying about Him?

I want to say "no." But I can't dismiss it that quickly.

What do you think... Did Jesus struggle with insecurity? If He did, how did He deal with it?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Photo Friday: 1/2 Snow Covered

The other day, by the time I got out to clean off the car, it was already half gone. I love it when the sun gets rid of the snow for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jesus Ashtray

Saw this picture on Gman's site tonight. All I can say is "wow, someone really made that?"

(gracias a Gerrard for the laugh)

study says teens delay sex when taught sex education

I just saw an article that says new research claims sex education helps teens delay sex.

The good news - Teens delaying sex.
The bad news - Teens delaying sex.

One thing about the study mentioned in the article that stands out was this statement:

The researchers did not evaluate the content of sex education programs, including whether students were taught about contraception or about abstinence only.

Another study to look at as a youth worker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trivia Wednesday #48

answer #47 - Batman & Robin

question #48 - Originally "Bah Humbug" was going to be "Bah _____" what?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Youth Worker Strike?

I was thinking this morning about the writer's strike. It is greatly affecting the television season and is going to start affecting the movies.

Do you really think that writers are not writing? I tend to think they are still writing something. It may not be a specific script for a specific show. But I bet they are writing scripts of some sort. That is, unless they are not passionate about writing or don't enjoy their job.

I think that most youth workers would have a hard time not working with youth. Even though I'm not a guru at this job, I still love working with youth. I'm constantly learning more about what that means on a daily basis. But I can tell you I would never be able to not be a youth worker if the youth worker union went on strike.

I would find ways to sneak around and minister to teens. I would learn to call it something else.

I think if a youth worker would be fine going on strike there is a problem. It should be a passion, a desire (a fire in your bones), a driving force.

Would you be able to ever be on strike?

Photo Friday: Fire

Do you have a fire inside of you?

Jer. 20.7-13 (esp. v.9)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If only every good book affected us like this...

I just saw this picture over on Tim's blog. I don't know where he got it, but I'd like to share it with ya'll.

(if you have problems reading the book title, click on the link and look at it over on Tim's page.)

Trivia Wednesday #47

answer #46 - False

question #47 - Which comic book character and friend had a successful prime time TV series in the 1960's?

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Poll: Do You Regift

So, with Christmas right around the corner I have wondered how many of you regift. So this new poll asks that very question.

Do you regift?
yes, just once though
yes, every year
what is regifting?
why would you want to give away something someone else gave to you?
I will now.

Please share the best/worst gift you have ever regifted. Or the best/worst gift you've been given (that you know was regifted).

Poll Results: Which white item would you rather have

According to our poll ...

33% of you (2 people) want a white squirrel
50% of you (3 people) want a white chocolate candy bar
16% of you (1 person) wants a white head of hair

and no one wants..
a white Christmas
a white jumpsuit
a white wall tire

I hope you get what you wanted.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Restickable Glue Stick

How would/could you use this in ministry?

Restickable Glue Stick

* For most papers, fabrics and photos
* Cap size meets regulations to reduce choking hazards in children under 3 years, as defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safe Commission
* Restickable formulation allows any piece of paper to self-stick, then remove for repositioning
* Dries clear and is non-toxic*
* Adhesive is acid-free, photo safe

-hang notes around the office
-hang promotional posters/flyers
-hang event signs
-hang set lists
-hang memory verses
-use to put covers on binders/folders
-hang notes to your spouse/children
-hang pictures of who is the teacher in a children's class
-put your sermon notes in your Bible
-glue someone else's book pages together

any others? anyone use this restickable gluestick before?

Discussion Starter: cheap gas - what would you do?

33 cents for a gallon of gas? According to this article, it was at one gas station thanks to a mistake.

So, the question (after hearing that story) is what would you do?

Would you have filled up your car?
Would you have then gone back home and picked up the other car to fill it up, too? Would you have called a few friends to tell them?
Would you have felt guilty and drove off?
Would you have called the police to let them know?

How do you think the employee felt afterward?

Use this story to start discussion on: forgiveness, stealing, right v. wrong, mistakes, taking advantage of someone, honesty, being taking advantage of

Friday, December 07, 2007

DSL has arrived on my office computer

Yesterday, it happened. I now have DSL hooked up on my computer at work. It has been a long wait to get it hooked up for me. It didn't have to be this long, though. All it took was going to get a Compact Wireless-G: USB Network Adapter.

Yeah, it was much easier than the amount of time it took to get it done. :)

One more office to get "wired" up and the whole office will be set.

to quote someone else: Seth Godin (longevity)

"Most people are waiting for the tested, the authenticated, and the proven."
taken from The Dip by Seth Godin

Sounds like a good reason to have longevity as a youth minister. And not just longevity in ministry, but longevity at a specific congregation. People don't really want a flash/bang youth minister. They want to know you'll be around for a long time.

It takes time to be tested.
It takes time to be authenticated.
It takes time to be proven.

Are you in ministry for the long haul? Are you determined to have longevity at your current ministry location? You have to be willing to be there during the good and the bad - even when it gets really difficult.

If you are willing to be there for the long haul, you will see the benefits.

Photo Friday: Sunset

Sunset: a beautiful reminder of God's creation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Prince Caspian: New Trailer

Here is the first trailer for the next installment in the Chronicles of Narnia series: Prince Caspian. It will be in theaters May 16, 2008.

Trivia Wednesday #46

answers #45 - The Messiah

question #46 - True or false? Most of the world's penguins live at the North Pole.

American Gladiators: They are back!

It looks like American Gladiator is back. On one side, I think its pretty cool. I remember quite a few afternoons watching the original (see videos below) with my brother. But on the other side, its never gonna be as good as I remember it. Anyway, I figure it'll come up sooner or later with the students you work with. So you should at least be aware its coming back.

Here are two clips from the original...

The new official American Gladiator website.

New promo video on

Monday, December 03, 2007

Good Idea, Bad Idea: mailing notes

Good Idea:
Connecting with students by sending notes and cards. You can send them for birthdays, to say hello, to let them know you're praying for them, inform them of upcoming events. No matter what the occasion, notes are a good way to communicate and stay connected. You can find cheap ones at the bookstore (8 little notecards for $.99), so they won't break your budget either.

Bad Idea:
Only putting a 26 cent postcard stamp on them. They will not get delivered.

lesson: pay more attention to which stamps you pick up when sending mail out. Or just be willing to face the "embarrassment" of having a stamp and the "post office" stamp on the same envelope showing you messed up.

Strong Tower

The song, Strong Tower by Kutless, really stood out to me the other day as I was driving in my car.

When I wonder through the desert
And I’m longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray.
When I’m stranded in the valley
And I’m tired and all alone
It seems like I’ve lost my way

I go running to your mountain.
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me, beautiful and mighty, everlasting king
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I’m week
Your name is true and holy
And your face all I see
Your face is all I see

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You’re my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunders all I hear
You speak softly to my soul
Now I’m running to your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free.

Where do you run when things are going bad?
Where do you run when your hurt?
To whom do you run when life's storms crash in on you?

Ps 46.7 says "The LORD almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

Do you run to God? He is the best place to go - always comforting and safe.

When your ministry becomes difficult...
When things just do not seem to work...
When people say mean things to you...
When people say mean things about you...
When you mess up and need to apologize...
When others hurt you...
When you feel all alone... to the strong tower. to God.