Sunday, April 30, 2006

Staff Retreat

Our staff is gone on a two day retreat up in Silverthorne for summer and fall planning. I am looking forward to part of our time as we will be dreaming about what we want Southern Gables to look like in five years!

All I know is that I will have 2 kids in elementary school and I will be well on my way to 40!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll start posting again on Wednesday!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Mastermind!!!!!

Let me get on the record that I absolutely love the Broncos draft move today to get Jay Cutler! Mike Shanahan has proven today that he is the mastermind. He is thinking about the next twelve years here in Denver! Thanks Mike!!!!!!! On a side note, I wonder how many of us are making the right decisions to put us in a position to succeed in the next twelve years, whether it be as a parent, youth leader, husband, or boss. Back to the draft!

When you look out over the next couple of years at the quarterbacks that will be available, all of the draft picks the Broncos had this year, Plummer having two good years left, the importance of the position of quarterback here in have to go Cutler!

I am excited my boys are going to grow up with Jay Culter as the quarterback of their team!!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Realities of Teens & Technology

I have been reading through this presentation by Lee Rainie this week. Here’s the summary of the presentation online, “This is a discussion of the eight realities of technology and social experience that are shaping the world of today's teens and twenty-somethings. It looks at the growing role of technology in teens' lives, the way they use their gadgets, their expectations about how to find and use information, and the social consequences of their use of technology.”

Here are the realities:

1 - Millennials are a distinct age cohort, according to many measures of generational behavior and attitude.

2 - They are immersed in a world of media and gadgets.

3 - The Millennials’ worlds is that their technology is mobile.

4 - The internet plays a special role in their world.

5 - Millennials’ are multi-taskers.

6 - They are often unaware of or indifferent to the consequences of their use of technology.

7 - Their (our) technology world will change radically in the next decade because we are in the middle of several technology J curves.

8 –The way they approach learning and research tasks will be shaped by their new techno-world.

I am particularly interested in the eigth reality and what implications this will have on discipleship.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Hidden Qualities of a leader

The title of this article intrigued me. I wondered what the author was going to suggest the hidden qualities great leaders posses.

Here's some of his list.

1. Empathy - Do you care about the people that work with you?
2. Personal Responsibility for trouble - Do you understand the personal responsibility you and your company are in?
3. Always searching for the truth - "They look for ideas in strange places and encourage debate in search of the right decision."

The one that is grabbing my heart is how the leaders in my high school ministry think I view them. I never want my leaders to think I care for them simply based on the role they fill in my ministry. I want them to know I care about them first as a person and then what they do for our ministry. This is a tough balance because small groups have to be led. Music must be played. Meeting with students must be taking place, etc... But it must all be done in the context that I value them for who they are and not what they do for me.

Colorado Avalanche Up 3?!

I can't believe it!!!!!!!! Our Av's have a 3-0 lead on the Dallas Stars after an amazing victory in O.T. last night!Julie and I absolutely love playoff hockey!!!!!!!!!! We were trying to explain it last night and couldn't find the words. It's just awesome!!!!!!!!!! Especially overtime!

One of the main reasons I think we love the Avs is that they won the Stanley Cup right before we got married so we watched all the playoff games as we were working on wedding stuff back in the summer of 1996.

Game 4 on Friday...I want tickets!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Harvesting Failures

I came across this interview "How Successful People Remain Successful" this morning and again was challenged to grow. The interview was with one of the authors of the new book Success Built to Last, which follows a book written by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last.

Here's part of the interview:

Q. One of the most interesting ideas in your book is that successful people harvest their failures. How do successful people stay successful?

A. The chapter we spoke about earlier focuses on people who take their wounds and turn them into wisdom. Sometimes, success can make you sloppy, just as a setback can make you [understand] more clearly what works and what doesn't. They're disciplined about looking at how things had good or bad results and seeing them as opportunities for improvement.

The phrases "harvest their failures," "people who take their wounds and turn them into wisdom," "sometimes success can make you sloppy" all stood out to me.

It's not often that I harvest a failure. I typically ignore, run away from, or just flat out act like failure never happens. I am wondering what it would look like to actually start harvesting my mistakes as part of my growth instead of making all of my focus on taking what I am good at and making it great?!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Being Average Stinks!

Something has been on my mind a lot this year. That something has to do with not being average. I don't want to just be your average everyday youth pastor. I just don't want to be your average husband, father, friend, etc... Jim Collins has challenged me to move from Good to Great. Seth Godin has challenged me to stop trying to be perfect and start being remarkable.

Seth Godin had a post this week that spoke more on these themes. "No" to Average. Again it reminded me that there is average all around me every single day. The challenge for me is to say "no" and step out on the edge! So one of my mantra's for the rest of the year is, "Being average stinks!"

I think our new series in our high school ministry, The Urge to Merge, is one way I am stepping out on the edge of average!

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Good Weekend in PaHonix!

Chris and I had a great weekend playing golf, sitting in the jacuzzi, eating great food, hanging with great people and taking a nap! We were part of a golf tournament hosted by our father-in-laws company! Big Dave couldn't join us due to some back problems. We played Whirlwind and Legacy golf courses and they were outstanding. I shot 83 on Saturday and 86 on Sunday. Not to shabby coming off the ACL surgery!

I am excited to be back to reality!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Columbine Remembered - The Sermon

We have posted this on the front of our web page:

In Remembrance of Columbine

April 20 was the 7th anniversary of that tragic day at Columbine High School where 12 students and one teacher were killed. The following Sunday many pastors across the country knew the need to address the problem of the presence of such evil in a world over which God is sovereign. So we don't forget that this story is part of our story in this community, here's Pastor Nelson's sermon from that Sunday.

Pastor Nelson focused on this question, “How can I hold to the goodness of God and the sovereign control of God in a world filled with so much evil?”He suggested we do at least three things:

Wrestle, Look & Pray!

I never want to stop wrestling. I never want to stop looking at the evidence. I never want to stop praying.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Columbine Remembered - Kacey is MY HERO!

I remember Kacey showing up for Big Hair Bowling on December 2, 1995 and going absolutely giddy over the fact that her jr. high youth pastor had proposed to her small group leader that morning! It was the day Julie and I got engaged and I still have a picture of Kacey with BIG HAIR! She's pictured here with her sister Britney who is on the left at the Rose Parade in 2005.

Kacey was shot in the library 7 years ago today and lived. She is my hero. She made it on the front cover of USA Today on April 21, 1999. I still remember the huge security guard posted outside her hospital room. N'Sync came to visit her. Colorado Avalanche players stopped by to comfort her. Peter Forsberg gave her a signed jersey! So many things happened so fast.

When I read what transpired that day I can't believe she lived. She's married now and works as a nurse in oncology. Repeatedly she has opportunities to look patients in the eye who are facing death and tell them that she not only sympathizes with them, she empathizes with them.

I truly believe that Kacey can communicate what Corrie Ten Boom said, "There is no pit that God is not deeper still."

Columbine Remembered - Darrell Scott's Testimony

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School in our community. The students who attend Columbine have the day off today. I shared a little of what happened that day already for me in a this post.

One thing that I have never forgot is walking in the parking lot and seeing Rachel Scott’s car. She parked it that morning and never got back to it. I remember just standing there numb. Her brother, Craig, helped Kacey, a girl from our church, out of the library.

Below is part of a transcript that her father gave before the subcommittee on crime of the House Judiciary Committee on May 27, 1999 at the Rayburn House office building in Washington, D.C.

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers."

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart."

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent."

"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

"Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air. You've stripped away our heritage, You've outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question "Why?" You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!"

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws."

"Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!"

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes-He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Columbine Remembered - Ravi Zacharias Remembered

I’ll never forget Ravi Zacharias contacting our Southwest Network of Youth Pastors and asking what he could do to help. There were hundreds of phone calls offering help, resources, etc…, and Ravi’s request was one of the few that we accepted. His messages have been compiled in a series titled Isaiah 52:7.

Here is Ravi’s message and it’s worth reading at least once a year - Shepherding a Soul-less Culture.

What I remember most about the whole event that Ravi did for free is how he followed through with a promise he made that day three years later. He approached us after the sessions and informed us that he would donate all the money he made off of the sales of these messages.

Three years later we got a check in the mail and apparently he sold a lot of these messages! We were all humbled. Ravi Zacharias remembered his promise and he followed through. I’ll never forget when Todd Shulda called me and told me of the great news. I rejoiced with him on the phone but when I got off I would be understating the fact that I just cried. I wept. I can’t express it in words, even now, what it meant that Ravi Zacharias was a man of his word.

What I can say is that Ravi came that day as a servant of God because he wanted “to be near our heroes whose feet have walked on rough roads and steadied the lives of people.” Ravi talked to anyone and everyone in the room who wanted and needed his time. Youth workers who lead jr. high and sr. high small groups of 5-8 students were getting one on one time with Ravi Zacharias! They were pouring their hearts out to them through tears as they were searching for something to take back to the group of students they were shepherding.

Ravi didn’t come selling himself, as we felt many people “who wanted to help us did.” Rather he came as a servant of the God who watched the scene unfold in that day, 3.8 miles from our church, who promises one day He will make all things NEW!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Columbine Remembered - Starbucks Remembers

On Friday I walked into Starbucks and found this pound of coffee on display. It’s Starbucks Community Blend. The picture of the Columbine caught my interest so I looked on the back and saw that Starbucks is donating $3 of every pound sold to the Columbine Memorial. WOW!

I have to admit that I was shocked to see the mighty Starbucks investing in this project for our little community. I was shocked that they knew the Columbine memorial even existed, let alone that it still needs money to be completed. I proudly bought a pound and threw back an entire pot this morning. Great bean!

This got me thinking… The bigger you get the more you can’t forget to do the little things and do them well. I like the message this HUGE Company is sending to our community. Sure they could cut a check, but I wouldn’t feel a part of the process of helping build the memorial if they just did that. It’s like the charity golf tournament coming up on May 8th, or the paper Columbines you can buy at all of these stores for a buck: Qdoba Restaurants - Fat City - Dairy Queen – Paramount Cafe - Maverick Press - Front Range Bank – Wild Oats – Lighthouse Hair Salon - Ace Hardware - Guiry's - Fox and Hound - CiCi's Pizza – Del Taco - Exotic Tans - Littleton Curves – Firestone - Alterations Plus - Ray's TV - Jeffco Schools - Marie Calendar’s – The Draft Sports Bar - No Name Bar & Grill, or the memorial pins that cost $13.00 (a buck to remember the 13 who lost their lives). All of this is helping. There are multiple streams of people making this dream of a memorial a reality!

On a personal note, it has made me think about what little things I am doing to make a difference this week in my community with those who were impacted directly as a result of this tragedy.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Columbine Remembered

This week marks the 7th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. I'll be posting thoughts all week as I remember the tragedy and reflect on what's going on in our community.

Pictured above are the 12 students and one teacher who lost their lives on that horrific Tuesday morning.

I would encourage you to join me this week by praying for each of these families as they remember their loss.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Are Churchgoers a Market for Hollywood?

I was reading USA Today yesterday and came across this article, "Hollywood turns to divine inspiration." This article fits perfectly into a thread that was started in this post last week. Not to mention, my buddy Phil threw up a good post on the subject too.

The opening headline of this article says, "In God, Hollywood is trusting it will find big profits."

I almost fell out of my chair...what if part of the sentence was missing and the headline only said, "In God, Hollywood is trusting?!" For all the churchgoers around the world this is exactly how Hollywood hopes we read this line. They hope that if they keep producing movies with a spiritual theme, check out the list of up and coming ones here, there will be a shift in the thinking of a huge market of people that will start embracing what they are doing with their wallets!

I think this quote is one worth holding on to next time we think Hollywood, in general, is out there trying to give the churchgoer what they want at the box office to promote our system of beliefs. To be sure there are God-fearing producers who are seeking to use their talent for the glory of God (see Phil's post above), but in general, we must all remember that Hollywood is trusting God for a payday and not a life changed! But we know that Hollywood doesn't change lives for eternity, God does! And God will use any means necessary to draw men and women to Himself!

I am praying that God will raise up more Christ enslaved producers who will make it their mission to produce movies for His glory in a market that can challenge the hearts, minds and souls of millions!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday - Father Forgive Them

Today I am grateful for forgiveness. There is so much to be thankful for today because of what the death of Jesus provided for us. In theological circles there are theories of what the atonement on the cross means. But today, my heart is simply grateful for the forgiveness Jesus extends because of the Cross.

What is grabbing my heart today is the ability I have to forgive because He forgave me. I must forgive those who sin against me because the yoke of the Rabbi I follow was to forgive those who sinned against Him. He made it pretty clear in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant that if you don't forgive others Jesus won't forgive you.

All this came to a climax this morning when I read this article in the Boston Herald. It's the story of a five-year-old forgiving the man who shot her and paralyzed her from the chest down. Everyone was moved to tears in the courtroom as they watched grace and forgiveness flow from the lips of a little girl. I believe this little girl was able to forgive because of what happened today. I believe I will be able to forgive tomorrow and the next day because of what happened today.

The Multitasking Generation - The Millennials

The Multitasking Generation by Claudia Wallis was the lead article in Time Magazine on March 27, 2006. This is a must read, save, re-read, pass it on, re-read again article!! I think this article makes a great case that American culture has never seen a generation of students like the ones that comprise The Millennials, or Generation M (media).

The article mentions the study of Elinor Ochs, director of UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families. She made an interesting observation, "We also saw how difficult it was for parents to penetrate the child's universe. We have so many videotapes of parents actually backing away, retreating from kids who are absorbed by whatever they're doing."

What’s more the article sites that today 82% of kids are online by the seventh grade, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Finally, the article has input from the Kaiser Family Foundation. “The big finding of a 2005 survey of Americans ages 8 to 18 by the Kaiser Family Foundation, co-authored by Roberts, is not that kids were spending a larger chunk of time using electronic media--that was holding steady at 6.5 hours a day (could it possibly get any bigger?)--but that they were packing more media exposure into that time: 8.5 hours' worth, thanks to "media multitasking"--listening to iTunes, watching a DVD and IMing friends all at the same time.”

“Some are concerned about the disappearance of mental downtime to relax and reflect. Roberts notes Stanford students "can't go the few minutes between their 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock classes without talking on their cell phones. It seems to me that there's almost a discomfort with not being stimulated--a kind of 'I can't stand the silence.'"

The Kaiser Family Foundation Study can be found HERE!

I have had many thoughts over the past three weeks as I have been reading all of this information. Here are a few. What does a “quiet time” look like for someone in this age group? What does Bible study look like? How should large group Bible teaching change in methodology and yet maintain the authority of the Word? What changes should be made in youth ministry programs across the country? Can the discipling process Jesus modeled for us be anymore of the clarion call to youth workers and adults for how to reach this multi-focused generation? How do we get students to follow Christ alone as the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Weakness in Peter...Strength in Jesus

Appearances Can Be Deceiving was the title of the sermon preached this weekend at Southern Gables by Pastor Nelson. He contrasted Peter and Jesus in Mark 14:43-15:15 and how their appearances are deceiving. Peter appears to be strong, but he is actually weak. Jesus appears to be weak, but He is actually strong. It's a great sermon! Here are a few things that stuck out to me.

When I look more carefully at this arrest and trial, I don’t see a weak victim. I see a man with resolve, a focused attention and an incredible strength. I see the perfect man, doing exactly what he had determined to do. And he is doing it for me and for you! It is the combination of his goodness and his greatness that makes him trustworthy. Sovereign benevolence!

When your faith is threatened,
· when God seems most distant,
· when Christianity seems to be under attack,
· when you are tempted to doubt God’s ability or love,
· when circumstances seem to be overwhelming even for God,
· when Jesus seems so far away as to be useless in the present, and when God seems as
weak as Jesus must have seemed to Peter, what will you cling to – appearances or the truth?

I’m increasingly convinced that the single greatest indicator of where our trust is centered is whether we pray or not.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Failure of Youth Ministry

I read this article when it came out in 2003 by Mike Yaconelli and I liked it. Somehow it weaved its way back on to my radar screen this week as I am dreaming about a different kind of youth ministry here in Littleton, CO.

Several things caught my attention, but I’ll just share a few. After you’ve read the article let me know what stood out to you.

The most important function of youth ministry is longevity. Long-term discipleship.

The success of youth ministry in this country is an illusion.

Discipleship requires a huge investment of time. Most of us don't have the time. Or we chose not to take the time. Or our current models of ministry don't allow us the time.

I am wrestling with whether or not our “youth ministry program” is allowing for the time, a huge investment of time for long-term discipleship. The hardest part about this investment in youth ministry is that it will wear you out spiritually. You give and give and give and see two steps forward and then four steps back. To press on you must be committed to planting seeds of truth at every moment that God opens the door for you to breathe the Words of the Living God into student’s lives.

One of the things I’ve seen about this huge investment of time is that it usually happens outside the context of the walls of our building.

Effective ministry can be measured by numbers and the numbers don’t have to be an illusion that success is taking place…the number of students who are getting discipled as a result of what we are doing in our youth ministry can be the reality that we start measuring our effectiveness by.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Getting Out of the Way

I came across a great reminder from Doug Fields in his April Update about getting out of the way so others can shine. Doug admits that he doesn't have a technology bone in his body but a lot of people around him do. It's the people around him who have put together PowerPoint presentations for his talks, made videos of their events, found video clips for his talks, etc...

Doug's reminder is also a challenge. I've got tons of leaders, students and parents who are a part of our community and I have been challenged to think about whether or not I have asked them to be a part of what I do so they can shine. How much of what I do can be done by somebody else, better? Who in our community is screaming on the inside to serve but thinks I have it all covered? Have I communicated that I need help? This principle isn't just for ministry, but applies to business, name it! Are others are around us shining? Is it our goal to make everyone around succeed?

Here's the danger for me...I want leaders, students and parents to know that my interest and care for them is based on who they are with me and not what they do for me.

I am excited to find out how many more leaders, student and parents are going to shine in the 2006-07 school year!

Monday, April 10, 2006


Dateline NBC ran a great story last night on the dangers some of our students face by being a part of MySpace. They had a police officer conducting the experiment to show the dangers!

This video is imperative for anyone who knows a teenager who is on MySpace. Watch it!

One interesting note that we have been batting around the office this morning is how students are oblivious to the dangers. They think they are safe giving out their full names, where they go to school, cell phone numbers, where they live, where they are meeting their friends, etc... They think the surveys and the bulletins are harmless!

Teenage students still need adults in their lives who think critically. Yes, they are moving from concrete to abstract thinking but they don't understand the world from our perspective. Students need our perspective. Students need our eyes on their MySpace pages. Students need our input. They need to know that their space isn't just their space. It's everyone's space! It's priceless to see the girls interact with the detective.

If you know a student go to this link and find their page. Don't just look at the page and shake your head, rather, pick up the phone or send them an email and get together and talk about what's going on in their cyber world.

I Love Chocolate Bunnies!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Colorado Rockies

Okay, so I have to painfully get a post out on my Rockies and make my prediction on wins and losses. I'd like to say something positive first. Going to Coors Field is awesome. It's a great ballpark!

2006 prediction - 62-100.

I am going to a game next week with Tyler, a student from Denver Seminary. I'm glad I'll have good company and a great ballpark!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Our Skinny Obsessed Culture

I really enjoyed reading this article on J.K. Rowling as she was speaking out against the obsession of so many young people who want to be skinny. Not to mention on her website you get a great story about her trying to finish the 7th book. I didn't realize she writes by hand and doesn't use a computer.

Back to the obsession of being skinny. This article grabbed my heart because in two weeks I will be starting a six week series on dating, marriage and sex in our high school ministry, "The Urge to Merge." With this obsession being so prevalent in the teenage culture I have been praying that God would give me a new and fresh perspective on how to challenge our students, especially our ladies, on what is beautiful. I want our students to gain the perspective that God has majestically placed (Psalm 8) inside of each of them the gift of His image (Genesis 1:26-27).

All of this, of course, is grabbing my heart even more now that Adah has been in our home for six weeks! She is changing everything...and I love it!

Denver Broncos 2006 Schedule Breakdown

It's out! The Broncos 2006 schedule has arrived and I am already getting excited for what lies ahead in the up and coming football season.

At New England and Pittsburgh! - The Pats will want revenge and so will we! Great homes games against Indianapolis, Seattle and Cincinnati! The month of November is going to be tough.

Four nationally televised games, including at KC on Thanksgiving night! I can't wait for the draft as we have the 15th and 22nd picks.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

AWE in Marriage

I read an article written by Jim Burns today that got me thinking about my marriage. This June will be the completion of 10 years of marriage to Julie. Jim suggests that we should be building a sense of A.W.E. in our marriages.

A – Affection
W – Warmth
E – Encouragement

These just happen to be the three things that I feel I am the worst at! These seem simple, but often the simple things tend to elude me. What I love about working on my marriage is that it isn’t just my wife and I that benefit. Growing in my affection, warmth and encouragement are going to benefit my children and my ministry.

I am reminded of the words that were spoken to us at our wedding on that rainy day in June, “The greatest gift you’ll give your ministry is a healthy marriage.” Thanks Fritz.

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

Today is the start of the Masters Golf Tournament and I can’t wait to watch it all. I’ve got the DVR set and I will be indulging all weekend in the beauty of Augusta. As a side note, my friend Brian Stephens (whose Florida Gators are National Champs this week) is going to the tournament on Saturday. This could be the best week of his life as it relates to sports! I expect pictures dude!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Can parents actually be cool?

USA Today ran an interesting article today about the parenting trends among Gen X parents.

"Gen X parents sharing more with kids"

"People who study generational differences say many Gen Xers want a closer relationship with their kids than what they experienced — they're less interested in climbing to the top of the corporate ladder if it means giving up family time. Gen Xers matured at a time when the divorce rate was soaring and working parents were away from their children for more hours than any prior generation."

It's interesting to think about this being "new"...parents actually wanting to spend time with their kids. I think one of the differences is that Gen X parents want to engage not just their kids, but also the culture their kids are living in.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Angry Crocs

I was reading the Denver Business Journal yesterday and found a great article about some angry Crocs!

Crocs, a shoe maker, is suing 11 companies, "...claiming their shoes infringe on its patents and copy its distinctive look." Crocs is a local company located in Niwot, CO just up I-25!

I have to confess I am one of the people who have purchased one of the imitation Crocs! Airwalk's are half the price and my kids destroy shoes! We love them because they are easy on, easy off and I can wash them in the dishwasher!

How important is the "original" of something? It's true, I own a pair of original Crocs and they are nothing like the Airwalk's in my house. They are more comfortable, more durable and if I got in a bind and needed a quick meal I could boil them!

It's interesting to me that so many of us will sacrifice the quality of the "original" _________ (you fill in the blank) if it costs to much. When it comes right down to it most of us aren't willing to pay what it costs to have the best. This is especially true if there is a cheaper version that at first glance looks just like it!

I think this problem has sneaked it's way into following Jesus. We want the cheap version. We want the Airwalk version of Jesus. The "original" costs to much. Why would I pay the ultimate price when I have something I already like? The only version of Jesus worth purchasing is one that costs you everything, even your life. Don't listen to me, listen to Jesus,

"27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' 31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:27-33

Monday, April 03, 2006

Angry Youth Pastor's and Dodgeball - Priceless

Thanks to Seth Hanson for this. If you like the headline below, then read article. We are playing dodgeball on Wednesday night! I can only imagine the scene!

"A youth minister was charged with assault for allegedly knocking down a 16-year-old boy and kicking him in the groin after taking a head shot from the teen in a dodgeball game."

"Youth minister smites dodgeball opponent"

Brochures in Church or Anywhere

I was in our Welcome Center yesterday staring at my brochure that visitors look at to "check out" what is going on for students in our ministry and all I could think about what this post by Seth Godin - What do you think of my brochure?

He raises some excellent points for anyone who is publishing a brochure to talk about who they are or what they do.

I am going to rework our brochure with these strategies in mind. One thing I am trying to do is get our high school students to be the ones handing out the brochure. I don't just want to give out information in the Welcome Center from the people who are working the information booth, I want our stuff given out by the people who are being impacted by what's in the brochure.