• Youth Ministry

    A Youth Pastor's Hurt

    I wrote this a year ago after some time with some former youth. I’m currently working on a sermon that brought it to mind and decided to share it again. I’m starting my thirteenth year as a youth pastor at the same church. That is a really long time in youth ministry and a really long time as a youth pastor in the same church. I remember my current youth when they were mere babies and the first youth I had in my ministry are now having babies. Over the thirteen years, I’ve shared countless moments with hundreds of teenagers. I honestly don’t have a number for you but I do…

  • My Life,  Youth Ministry

    Loud and Off Key

    There is a youth in my youth group that sings loud and off key. I love his singing the most. Because her song comes from her heart. He is lost in the words, in the music. She is oblivious to her faltering pitch because of her joy of the experience. I want to live life like he sings. I want to live from the heart. I want to live oblivious to faltering because of the joy of the experience. I want to live loud and off key. So next time you’re near me and hear me living off key, don’t move to a different seat to maintain your perfect pitch. Scootch right up…

  • My Life

    Okay

    One of my favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carey and Kate Winslet. In the movie, Joel, the uptight, Eeyore guy falls for Clementine, the bohemian, Jenny Gump type girl. They have an amazing relationship until Clementine gets bored and tired and changes her mind. Fortunately for her and to the anguish of Joel, Clementine is able to have Joel erased from her memory. The movie focuses on Joel’s attempt to erase Clementine from his memory but erasing her from his heart proves to be more difficult than he thought. Eternal is a tremendous movie with depth and poetry. I always marvel at the minds…

  • Faith Reflections

    Working Out With God

    Most days it takes a lot of effort to get my rear on the treadmill. Not because I have ginormous rear – although it most certainly isn’t dainty. I was pretty plus before plus was pretty. I simply struggle to get excited about the hamster race. I would much rather walk outside but when the cold blows in, I burrow inside the house like a hedgehog ten days late for hibernation. The dreadmill is in my bedroom. In the evening when I walk past it to go to my bathroom, I avoid eye contact. But I can feel it looking at me. It looks a lot like my mother when…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Gates of Time

    This summer I was at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum – a memorial to the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Murrah Federal building which killed 168 people.  It is a beautiful and power memorial.  We were only able to view the outside memorial due to the hour of the day but the symbolism of that place was powerful enough to help us feel a small sense of what happened in that sacred space 17 years ago. One of the most moving parts of the memorial for me was the Gates of Time. These monumental twin gates frame the moment of destruction – 9:02 a.m. – and mark the formal entrances to…