Thursday, March 29, 2007


I know that when you put a blog out there that it's intended for public consumption, but ever since I've installed the statcounter I've been able to notice some peculiar facts about the individuals that drop by to read my ramblings. Today I noticed that 5 different people in the past week have ended up here after doing searches for "monster rabbit".

I must be getting close to Easter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Talkin' sex...

We started a sex series with our middle school and high school groups this week. One word can describe the environment: awkward. We get the nervous chuckles, silly smiles, nervous seat-shifting and the "don't-make-eye-contact" looks. And with an anonymous question box, you never know what you might get.

But the highlight of the week was this exchange with some middle schoolers:

Me: "What have you been taught about sex?"

MS #1: "Masturbation"

MS #2: "Uhh...what's that?"

Yeah...a room full of teenagers and a conversation about sex is the ultimate recipe for "interesting".

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Beautifully vulgar...

I'm not sure why but I have a habit of listening to particular artists for extended periods of time...almost to the point where I overdose on them. And sometimes these musical binges seemingly happen right out of the blue. I read an article or hear a song and the next thing my wife knows that's all I'm listening to for the next month and a half.

My most recent one, besides the obvious Dave Matthews and Eric Clapton, is Ben Folds. I think it was an article in Relevant Magazine a few months ago that got me re-interested in his music. I say "re-interested" because already had one album from my college days.

But this afternoon watched a video of a song called "Still Fighting It" (you can find the video here) and felt myself getting choked up. So apparently not only do I have a soft spot for Boy Meets World, but I also find myself being moved by the beautiful music of this often vulgar individual.

I feel like I'm all over the map these days. This can't be normal.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


My wife is getting sick of hearing about Clapton, but I found this clip from his show in Dallas last month. This version is not nearly as good as the one last thursday, but maybe you can just enjoy the fret work. There is some close ups of Eric on the big screen a little later in the video.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A living legend...

My wife asked me how the concert was when I arrived home at 2:00am last night. My response was not coherent. Not because I was tired from a long day or worn out from 6.5 hours of driving, but rather because I could not put into word what it was like to watch a living legend do his thing for 2 hours.

Some call Clapton a god. I will settle just short of that description out of courtesy to the One who actually dishes out the talents. But the guy's got some mad skills.

The concert was beyond words. From the beginning to the end every song was filled with "wow". It's a toss up as to which part of the evening I enjoyed more...the acoustic portion that came in the middle of the evening or the 2 song encore that consisted of "Cocaine" and "Crossroads". Oh, and let's not forget "Layla".

I will say that this was money well spent and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you ever have a chance to see Clapton in concert, don't think...just buy the ticket(s) and go see him. You will have an appreciation for him unlike ever before and you will be glad you did it.

Here's a great review. And this was the setlist for the evening:

-Tell The Truth
-Key To The Highway
-Got to Get Better in A Little While
-Little Wing
-Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad

-Driftin' (EC Solo)
-Outside Woman Blues
-Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
-Running On Faith

-Motherless Children
-Little Queen of Spades
-Further On Up The Road
-Wonderful Tonight

-Crossroads (with Robert Cray)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So what...

I'm falling deeper and deeper into something, but I'm not sure exactly what that "something" is. I know it has to do with the church (not just my church, but the larger church) though. My past and current experiences, my reading, my thoughts and my convictions seem to be up to something. And I'm not sure what's going to come out on the other end. I've had moments in the past 2 weeks where I feel like my head is going to explode. I have times when I'm racing...trying to figure out what to do...trying to figure out the "so what".

I'd liken it to a pile of modeling clay that's being shaped, but right now it just looks like a blob. Is this normal?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I think I read this only because it's Rob Bell. I like the guy. He's smart, articulate and just plain annoying at points. I don't get half the stuff he says, but that's ok, since I normally toss stuff like that aside anyway.

I think Rob describes how I feel about this book best with something from the epilogue:

For some, hopefully, light has been shed on things that matter, "Oh, that finally makes sense," or "I never thought about it like that," or even, "Huh...I'll have to think about that."

As the title alludes, the book is all about sexuality. It's about sex, God, relationships, marriage, lust, self-image, submitting, Hebrew, heaven, hell, animals, angels, dancing and Johnny Cash. takes it all on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A New Kind of YM...

I get nervous when people suggest they've come up with a new way of doing youth ministry that is more effective than the "other" way (whatever that other way may be). I swallowed hard when I opened this book and I was guarded, skeptical and pessimistic when I started reading this (which makes me wonder why I started reading it to begin with). My first question was, "who are you to tell me that my way is wrong and your way is right and better?"

My ending question, "what do I need to change about myself and the way I minister to students that can result in a more productive ministry?" Yeah, I noticed that there's a bit of a change in my thought process too.

Chris put into words many things I've thought of over my years of working with students. He challenged me, encouraged me, reprimanded me, and flat out smacked me in the face. I think he's bang on with so many of the things he said. I'd sum them up, but I'd just be writing the book in my own words, and I think that's plagiarism.

This goes on the list of "books you should definitely read if you work with students".

As for the outcome in my own life/ministry. I'm currently involved in the beginning stages of a ministry evaluation and this book helps remind me of some all too important questions I need to be asking as we begin to refine what the future of our student ministry looks like. You'll probably hear about it here from time to time.

Breaking spring...

It's raining again. Or maybe I should say "still". I wonder what the sun looks like. I wonder what it feels like.

Today begins a week of no youth ministry programs. Please note that I didn't say "no youth ministry". I'm smart enough to know that ministry is an ongoing thing. I also realize that the second I mention that it is going to be a quiet week, somethings liable to hit the fan. Isn't that how it always works?

But I'm definitely looking forward to change in my schedule. I've got big plans too. We'll just have to see if I can follow through with these:
  • finish reading some books (New Kind of YM, What Matters Most)
  • start reading some books (SexGod, Confessions of a Reformation Rev)
  • prepare for a talk I'm giving next Sunday in LifeStage (our version of SS) to the 40-55 year olds about teenagers and what's happening in the lives of our students
  • blog about some thoughts I've had lately that need some processing
  • take a day to read
  • finish next month's newsletter
  • get ahead on my messages for the upcoming teaching series (we're talking about sex...)
  • see Clapton in concert!
I could probably add a pile more, but I think I'll call it there so I don't overwhelm myself.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Visit Emergence 2007 online

With all the reading I've been doing lately in regards to the subject of the emerging church I'll admit that this caught my attention. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to get the rest of the staff to attend this with me. So...anyone up for a road trip in June?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sausages & coke...

It's Thursday and I'm home. The plan was to sleep in but instead I was awaken by a plumber and an electrician pounding on the door (this is starting to sound like a bad dream or something). I'll let my beautiful wife blog about the flooring debacle.
But after some quality lego building with the kids now REM is playing in the background, sausages are frying and I'm enjoying a caffeine free coke. And the best part is that I'm not even going to think about work today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It's just one of those seasons right now. I'm tired and a little cranky (ask my wife), I'm a little run down and worn out these days. It happens from time to time. And the problem is I know exactly what I need but I can't get it. It's called "3 weeks in Maui".

These past two weeks have been unlike any I've ever had in ministry before. It's almost like I can't get 30 minutes of work done without a phone call or a drop in. I've had way too many meetings scheduled and I haven't spent nearly enough time at home.

I know it's not normal, but it easily could become so if I don't make some serious modifications to my schedule. I think I'm going to need to revisit Doug Fields' "What Matters Most" sometime in the next week.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I want to see the music...

Tuesday's episode of House was memorable for this. Can anyone name the other guy (who isn't Hugh Laurie) playing the piano?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I've got words for this PC...

And they aren't pleasant. I just finished a lengthy post about hooliganism and a recent movie I watched (Green Street Hooligans) and now it's been swallowed up by a mysterious blackhole also known as "my computer with a mind of its own".

Not wanting to recreate the original post, I've opted instead for a few highlights from a fairly full yet relaxing weekend:
  • Enjoyed watching Green Street Hooligans. It's been sitting on the DVR for almost 2 months but I finally found some time. But don't watch it if you dislike violence, football or English accents. Gritty movie.
  • Read "MySpace My Kids". Nothing new was said in this book that I didn't already know, but it could be a useful resource for any parent who doesn't have a clue about the wonderful world of MySpace.
  • Watched a pile of episodes of "The Unit" and caught up on my "Lost" viewing. The latter keeps getting stranger and stranger. I'm close to giving up on it.
  • Watched RV with the kids this afternoon. It makes me want to try an RV vacation...but I'd be the guy who doesn't have a clue how to empty the sewage tank. I guess I'll opt for tents and hotels.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I know it's odd, but I'm as shocked as everyone else. I just finished a book that I started reading yesterday called "Confessions of a Pastor". I'll admit that a few of Groeschel's admissions stuck out to me which is why I wanted to read it. That and I think someone somewhere along the line might have suggested it.

It's a simple read and I would imagine that most pastors would probably resonate and agree with most of the honest confessions. I think it raised an overall question of what churches are doing in order to not only encourage their shepherd to be accountable, but what are they doing in order to promote honesty and transparency with their leaders.

Let's be honest, most pastoral confessions are usually followed by "asked to step down".
I'll admit that while there is a level of honesty that is a little refreshing, there is also an element of too many simple cliches. Comments like "what's happening to you is not as important as what God's doing in you" and "as our faith expands, worry shrinks" tend to make me a little nauseous at times. Yeah, yeah...I get that there's an element of truth in them.
Should I recommend this? Sure...why not. It's not written about your typical topic. Maybe it would be useful if this could pave the way for more pulpit transparency. I don't think it that normal?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dwight highlight 2...

Thanks to Marko for this one. Funny stuff.