Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm not done preparing

This weekend we move to the words of Jesus from the cross, "It is finished." I finished all of my prep on Tuesday. This week it just flowed for some reason and it all came together. Yesterday I was sitting back at my desk, almost basking in the fact that I was already done for Sunday, feeling good, way ahead of the game, etc... Then I read this quote below that reminded me I have a lot of work left before I stand up at 9:15 a.m. this Sunday morning.

"Before we can talk to our students about God, we need to talk to God about our students!" - Some Wise Old Youth Pastor

I am so grateful that I found these words as I was searching for something else in my computer yesterday.

I'm not done preparing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Impress or Impact

“You can IMPRESS people at a distance, but you can only IMPACT them up close” - Howard Hendricks.

I've kept this quote close to my heart this week as I have been meeting with students. It's a great reminder to push me towards living incarnationally in the world of our students. Don't get me wrong, I care about the impression, but I am always searching for impact! The same is true for me with my kids. I want to live many impressions on them, but I am always looking for ways to impact them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Faith feeds on the Word

I came across these words years ago and usethem with our students at least twice a year. I am convinced that these words by John Piper have helped shape the faith of some of our students. Likewise, it's shown those students in our group why their faith is so weak and why it is starving. Oh, I almost forgot, these words are for me and a great reminder that my faith feeds on the Word of God!

“Faith feeds on the Word of God. Without a steady diet it gets weaker and weaker. If you are dissatisfied with your Christian courage and joy and purity of heart, check the way you are feeding your faith.

Compare the way you eat. Suppose that you start the day with a glass of orange juice. It’s good, and good for you. It takes you maybe five minutes to drink it if you read the newspaper at the same time. Then you go off to work or school. You don’t eat anything else until the next morning. And you have another glass of juice. And so you go on drinking one glass of juice a day until you drop.

That’s the way a lot of Christians try to survive as believers. They feed their faith with five minutes of food in the morning, or evening, and then don’t eat again until twenty-four hours later. Some even skip one or two mornings and don’t give their faith anything to eat for days.
Now the effect of starving your faith is that faith starves. Not hard to understand. And when faith is starving, it is getting weaker and not able to understand. And when faith is starving, it is getting weaker and not able to do much. It has a hard time trusting God and worshiping and rejoicing and resisting sin. It gasps and stumbles.” - John Piper, Godword Life pg. 214

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A week of pitching my tent

One of the things I love about Spring Break as it relates to our student ministry is that I can pack my week full of connecting times with students. I called up one of our fellas to hang this week at Starbucks and he said, "I'm pretty much not doing one thing this whole week, I'm open!" YES! We're meeting on Thursday morning! I've got a 12:00 p.m. baseball game on Thursday and a bunch of students I am waiting to hear back from.

We must never forget to practice incarnational ministry with your students. Jesus modeled it for us in John 1:14 when he "dwelt among us." He spent the better part of a year and a half of his ministry connecting with people. I love how one of my long time mentors Michael put it for me some time ago:

It does NOT say:

The Word stayed in Heaven and felt sorry for us!
The Word became information as was assimilated by us!
The Word became computerized and interfaced with us!
The Word became FLESH and taught courses among us!
The Word became FLESH and emailed all of us!
The Word became FLESH and scolded us for that whole “garden scandal."
The Word became FLESH and lead seminars w/great food and a great band among us!

Jesus literally "pitched His tent" on our turf! What a model of connecting.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Coaching debut

I am gearing up for my big coaching debut tonight. I am coaching Noah's U6 soccer team. I've read through my coaching manual and I'm as ready as I can be. The only other team I coached was the church basketball team in 1994. I had a great center playing for me in that church, the great Chris Lord! I figure a youth pastor is a perfect fit for being a U6 soccer coach. You have to yell, be loud, run around, play games with soccer balls, talk to kids who don't listen to you, eat oranges at halftime, and walk to your car after the game with a snack and a drink! So this is why I went to seminary! The games we are playing tonight: Defrost, Knockout, Sharks and Minnows and a short scrimmage.

Faith to teach the Bible in public high schools?

Time ran an article on March 22nd, written by David Van Biema, suggesting that public high schools should start offering Bible classes as electives to juniors and seniors, "The Case for Teaching the Bible."

It's a fascinating read and worth a discussion among your student ministry leaders.

According to the author, here's the amount faith needed for this to happen, "And, oh yes, there should be one faith test. Faith in our country. Sure, there will be bumps along the way. But in the end, what is required in teaching about the Bible in our public schools is patriotism: a belief that we live in a nation that understands the wisdom of its Constitution clearly enough to allow the most important book in its history to remain vibrantly accessible for everyone."

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Thirst Quenched

Today we studied Jesus' words, "I am thirsty." I came across these words (not sure who the author is) in my study and shared them today with our students and thought they were worth sharing.

"Far more than pains that racked Him then was the deep,
longing thirst divine,
that thirsted for the souls of men,
dear Lord--and one was mine!"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Reading and more reading

One of the benny's of being in bed for 3 days is that I've had a chance to do a lot of reading. I've been interacting wtih a lot of material in the following books:

A New Kind of Youth Ministry by Chris Folmsbee
Deep Ministry in A Shallow World by Chap Clark and Kara Powell
Enroute Training Journal by Sonlife
War of Words by Paul David Tripp
Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

These books are making me grateful for the grace of God in my personal life, my family life and my ministry life. I am a work in progress. My family is a work in progress. My ministry is a work in progress.

I cut it's butt off!

I've been in bed since Thursday afternoon after a small surgical procedure and Julie strolled upstairs today to inform me that Noah has found the ants. Every yeara round this time, I head to Home Depot and drop $10 bucks to kill ants. I buy the discontinued spray from the previous year and those little ant killing homes.

Noah traveled into the room shortly after he finished his breakfast and told me this,
"Dad, I found an ant, and I cut it's butt off!"
I could of saved $10 bucks!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Proud People - Broken People

I am not sure where I first saw this years ago, but I found it today going through files on my computer and there are some good reminders for the weekend ahead.

· Proud people ... focus on the failure of others
· Broken people ... are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.

· Proud people ... have a critical, fault-finding spirit; look at everyone else's faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope.
· Broken people ... are compassionate; can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.

· Proud people ... are self righteous; and look down on others.
· Broken people ... esteem others better than themselves.

· Proud people ... have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
· Broken people ... have a dependent spirit, and recognize their need for others.

· Proud people ... have to prove they are right.
· Broken people ... are willing to yield the right to be right.

· Proud people ... claim rights; have a demanding spirit.
· Broken people ... are self denying.

· Proud people ... desire to be served.
· Broken people ... are motivated to serve others.

· Proud people ... desire to be a success.
· Broken people ... are motivated to try to make others successful.

· Proud people ... desire self advancement.
· Broken people ... desire to promote others.

· Proud people ... are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
· Broken people ... are eager for others to get the credit and rejoice when others are lifted up.

· Proud people ... feel confident in how much they know.
· Broken people ... are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

· Proud people ... are self-conscious
· Broken people ... are not concerned with self at all.

· Proud people ... are quick to blame others.
· Broken people ... accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

· Proud people ... are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.
· Broken people ... receive criticism with a humble open spirit.

· Proud people ... find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others.
· Broken people ... are willing to be open and transparent with others.

· Proud people ... are blind to their true heart condition.
· Broken people ... walk in the light.

· Proud people ... don't think they need revival, but are sure that everyone else does.
· Broken people ... continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God..

And last but not least.

· Proud people ... think they belong on the broken people's list.
· Broken people ... are sure they belong on the proud people's list.

Thatcher Fish

I am an uncle again. Thatcher was born to my sister and her hubby!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thanks Stacy

Last night I walked into our gathering room and found Stacy sitting with Brianne listening to her share what was going on in her life. In the back of my mind I was thanking God for Stacy's involvement in our ministry as an i2i leader and a mentor.

Today I read this blog post from Brianne - My Mentor - about Stacy.

This one of the things I want to see happening all over our ministry in the next 5 years!

Thanks Stacy! This blog inspires me to continue to serve with passion the students in our community!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I will be sharing this quote this Sunday with our students when we meet and study Jesus' words from the Cross, "I am thirsty!"

“If Christianity is dull and boring,

if it is a burden and not a blessing,

then most likely we are involved

in a project, not a Person

a system not a Savior,

rules rather than a


—Joseph Stowell

Some of our sheep

We took this picture at the conclusion of our Murder Mystery Dinner this past Friday night! It was Butter Cup & The Dread Pirate Roberts with the Eyelash Curler in the Art Gallery! What a great night!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


"In this hour of all but universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct "interpretations" of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. Religion, so far as it is genuine, is in essence the response of created personalities to the Creating Personality, God." - AW Tozer

This is what we are striving for in our student ministries! AMEN!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pre-school Survivor

I am ushering my oldest son out of pre-school and my youngest son into pre-school this fall. They will be six and four years old. We've loved having Noah in pre-school and are really excited for Josiah to go.

But we aren't sure we want him to go to school in New York this fall. MSN reports that there is a Pre-school version of Survivor being documented. I am laughing out loud right now. Check it out here. We think this 3 year old might win!

Hurting at 10:30 p.m. Friday Night

Dave (one of my leaders) and I were putting the chairs and tables back in the church after our murder mystery dinner on Friday night. We ran into 7 high school students who were getting ready to pile into a 5 passenger SUV. I asked them if they needed a ride because there weren't enough seats. This past week Bear Creek high school lost a girl in a car accident and I didn't want it to happen again. One of the fellas mentioned he lived in the neighborhood right across the street and then he said something that caught me off guard.

He went on to explain how the group of students was just hanging outside the church to talk about the student who died this past week. They figured hanging outside the church was probably a good place to meet and talk. Most of them went to Bear Creek and I spent about 10 minutes listening to them process the reality of losing one of their peers. Our conversation ended with two of the girls asking me if we were meeting on Sunday morning. I gave them the information and they showed up yesterday! I found out as I was talking to them that one of them left work that morning to come to church and was going back after we were done. They heard the cry of Jesus from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

God is moving. This morning. 10:30 p.m. on Friday night. Tomorrow. This summer. Forever. What a privilege it is to walk alongside students when they are hurting as they try to find their part in the story of God.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The gift of Adah

Spritual growth in small groups

One of the primary goals of our small groups is provide an environment where spiritual growth can take place. Paul’s words to the Colossians points us to the process:

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him rooted, and built up in him, strengthened in the faith...” Colossians 2:6-7

· Rooting the new believer - Firmly fixed, thoroughly grounded, establishing a foundation, rooted below the surface.
· Building up the growing believer - Building upon the foundation, erecting something that can be seen.
· Strengthening the mature believer in his faith - Strengthening so as to inspire confidence to trust God on their faith journey.

It's been a privilege to watch our leaders (since September) shepherd the students in their groups who live in one of these three areas.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Star Wars

Yesterday while I was with our high school students Uncle Chris sat down with my two boys and began his Star Wars "discipleship" program.

This morning I asked Noah what his favorite part was and he replied immediately, "All of it!"

Josiah chimed in, "I loved Star Whores! (I laugh every time he says it), especially when Luke destroyed the whole Earth!"

This is awesome!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The purchase of our community

Acts 20:28 "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

This is a key verse in our ministry for the adults who lead small groups. It's also a key verse for our students.

We must never forget what bought us our community with one another.

The blood of Jesus Christ.

He paid an unimaginable price for our community. It's such a privilege to be a part of a spiritual community. We want our students to know at least two things about the end of this verse. Their leaders in our community are gifts. The students in our community are gifts. Gifts that have been paid for!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chaperon vs. Shepherd

Chaperone (shap’e-ron) n. “An older person who attends and supervises a social gathering for young people.”

Shepherd (shep’erd) n. “One who herds, guards, and tends sheep.” (The American Heritage Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin)

If you want to be a leader in our student ministries, you are called to be much more than a chaperon – which come a dime a dozen. Instead, you are called to be a spiritual leader and to shepherd a segment of the flock (students).

A shepherd has three distinct responsibilities:

GUIDE the flock.

PROTECT the flock.

FEED the flock.

I am so thankful for the men and women who guide, protect and feed our students!

My Final Four

Oregon, Kansas, Georgetwon, OSU. Oregon vs. OSU in the title game with OSU as the National Champions! As a side note, the University of Colorado, Colorado State and Denver University are all looking for basketball coaches so maybe one day we can put one of these teams in a final four!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Napleon Dynamite

It appears that one of my i2i small group leaders is related to Jon Heder.

Check it out here.

I'm quite sure that if we looked hard enough into my family tree I am somehow related to John Elway! :)

I miss John!

The passion of our adult leaders

This weekend I had the privilege to drive down to Canon City, CO and train a student ministry adult team on how to start and implement small groups in their ministry. It was unbelievable to watch them interact with Acts 2:42-47 as the model for how to do small groups. The passion was flowing, everyone participated and my buddy Greg (the student ministry pastor) is on his way to a clearer path of making disciples who will one day make disciples. Being with this group of adult leaders made me thankful for the ones I serve with.

As I drove home I was overwhelmed with the passion of the leaders that I get the chance to serve with week in an week out. They are pouring their lives into the disciplemaking process. I consider it a privilege to have passionate leaders leading the most passionate people in our church. I am excited to see what God is going to do in our i2i groups as we meet throughout the next two months!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Cross Words

It is an unbelievable privilege to teach the Word of God to high school students week in and week out. One of the great privilege's is what preparing each week does for my soul. The seven weeks before Easter we are studying Jesus' last words from the Cross. It's been unbelievable to soak in the Suffering Savior's words while he was hanging on the cross.

I am grateful tonight for this privilege. I don't take it lightly.
Psalm 119:43 has been my prayer this week,
"Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The warning to our students is: Failure to stay up may result in a serious loss of action. There's a website - Sleepless-Scoremore.

Spring is coming. Spring break is coming. WARNING! May the Spirit of God give our students the wisdom to heed the warning of Jesus over the warning of TAG.

"28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Adding the word friend

Today I attended a memorial service at our church and God spoke to my heart. A wonderful man of God in our church passed away due to brain cancer and his son said something today that I will never forget...I am summarizing his words,

"My dad was my dad, but he was also my friend."

Yes! My heart jumped. I can't wait for the day I get to add the word friend to my relationship with my children. I can't wait for this to happen!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Do as I say, not as I do

Thanks to Kristen for pointing me to this article, "Madonna Tells 10-Year-Old Daughter Lourdes to Wear Less Sexy Clothes."

Do as I say - Madonna to her daughter,

"'Can't you wear something else? ...And please wear a belt because I don't want to see your butt crack when you bend over."

Not as I do

I want to criticize her, but I've done the same thing (not wear the above outfit) and will do it again (tell my kids one thing and then do what I told them not to do). It's true for Madonna and for me, our kids reveal who we really are.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bly & Bailey - Oh Yeah!

Simply put, the Denver Broncos will have the most feared corners in the league with their acquistion of Bly from Detroit yesterday. Oh yeah!

He's going to look so much better in the orange and blue!
Now we need a running back and a d lineman. My picks are Adrain Peterson and Adam Karricker in the draft.
I like to dream!

Blomberg on the Bones

Dr. Craig Blomberg has an excellent article on the Denver Seminary website about the recent news of the Savior's bones having been discovered, "Did They Really Find Jesus’ Bones?"

This is an awesome read and it's something our students should be reading so they have information as they interact with their friends at school. Thanks Dr. B!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Icy conditions...whatever!

A couple of weeks ago I challenged our students to think hard about Hebrews 10:24-25,

"24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

It snowed yesterday. The roads were extremely icy. Icy conditions DID exist. A lot of our students chose not to let those conditions stand in the way of our meeting. They showed up. For some, the trek was too difficult as there were accidents EVERYWHERE. We missed them and understand their frustration. One of our leaders, Julie, spent over 30 minutes in her car traveling less than a mile before she turned around! As I was hanging out in our cafe' before we started I heard a student proclaim, "Hey, I had to get here tonight! I am not giving up meeting together!"

We only have seven weeks left before we take our summer break in our small group ministry with these students. It's a privilege to be a part of a community students that wants to be together for the purpose of spiritual formation!