Monday, September 28, 2009

Bad Day for Baylor Football

Three generations of Bearden boys enjoyed this past Saturday's Baylor football game. Nathan and I met my dad in Waco for an afternoon match-up between the Bears and the Northwestern State Demons. It was an awesome day! Nathan enjoyed the activities at Touchdown Alley before the game, we had great seats (Section D, Row 13) and the Bears won big.

However, yesterday we all learned the injury to quarterback Robert Griffin's leg was more serious than everyone first thought. I took the above picture without any idea that this will be RG's last game of the young 2009 season. Soon after this photo was taken Robert was up running around and smiling at the fans. In fact, he completed the entire first half tossing what seemed to be touchdown pass after touchdown pass. It came as no surprise that the backup quarterback entered the game at the beginning of the third quarter because the Bears, behind a great effort by Robert, had all but put this game away in the first half.

I hate this for Robert Griffin. Not only is he arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play at Baylor, but he is an outstanding guy with great character. He will be missed! The Bears are going to have a great season this year, but they will have to do it without RG. He will be missed, but Robert Griffin will be back next year better than ever!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

18 month-old Diva!

I took this picture of Kate after she ran away from me as I attempted to put her white sandals on her feet. Apparently, she did not want to wear her white sandals. Therefore, she threw herself down in protest of my fashion ignorance. How could I be so foolish? (By the way, she wore the white sandals)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Mariposa Furioso" The Furious Butterfly

I sent this out as a Facebook status update a few weeks ago, but I will give it a permanent home here. This was done at our youth camp this summer. All the Youth Pastors were asked to have their students dress them up like a superhero. The students could go with an established superhero or come up with a new one. As you can see, our creative group of students developed an entirely new superhero. This is the video of the presentation of "Mariposa Furioso" (The Furious Butterfly)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The World is Watching Now!

The events in Iran over the past few weeks have shed light on a new day in the story of humanity. Through the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Youtube anyone with a cell phone can send mass messages or videos within seconds. Now, I know governments can block internet sites and interrupt cell communication, but people are smart. They can get around these blockades. They have been doing it everyday in Iran.

I am hopeful this freedom of information will cause these cruel dictators to realize that what used to be done in secret can now be broadcast around the world by anyone. They no longer have the kind of control over communication and image they once enjoyed. The world is now watching!

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth."
Isaiah 42:16

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reading List

If you're anything like me, you have a stack of books that you would like to read, but somehow you just never get around to reading. Today, June 1, I will begin a journey to read all of the books in "my stack". I am committing myself to reading all of these books before I purchase yet another book. The sad part is, this list isn't even exhaustive. I still a few more books at home to add to this list, but those will just have to wait.

I will read each of these books and do a short review as a blog post. So, if you see me in the coming months, ask me how my reading list is going. Hopefully I will have an mental review handy of a book I just completed. If I tell you I haven't finished a book in the past few days, call me a slacker and tell me to get going!

Here's the list divided into categories:


by Malcom Gladwell
Outliners by Malcom Gladwell
The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
Leading Congregational Change by Jim Herrington, et al.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell
Effective Church Leadership by Kennon L. Callahan
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren

Spiritual Development

What Matters Most by Doug Fields
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Understanding God's Will by Kyle Lake
Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
The Sacred Way by Tony Jones

Rebellious Church People Stuff

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
Ancient-Future Faith by Robert Webber
Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
Adventures in Missing The Point by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo

Student Ministry

by Chap Clark
Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
Soul Searching by Christian Smith
Soul Shaper by Tony Jones
4 Views of Youth Ministry and the Church by Mark Senter, et al.
Getting Students to Show Up by Jonahan McKee
Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
Deep Justice in a Broken World by Chap Clark and Kara Powell

Casual Reading

Searching For God Knows What
by Donald Miller
Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Rich Mullins: His Life and Legacy by James Smith
Post-Rapture Radio by Russell Rathbun
Final Salute by Jim Sheeler

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I've learned so far...

I've been in Youth Ministry now for about 10 years. In my decade of ministering to teenagers I've learned a few things. Some of what I've learned came from the classroom, but most has come through experience. A few of these things were picked up very early in my career, while some have emerged quite recently. So, here's what I've learned so far...

- Even in the smallest of churches, you cannot please everyone all the time.
- Negativity will never make anything better. (So stop complaining and get to work)
- Leaders do not make excuses. They make things happen!
- Honesty is always better than the alternative.
- If you take a risk and fail, you won't live with the regret of not taking the risk.
- If you never take a risk your life will be boring.
- Stretch yourself and never stop learning.
- Make it a goal to be better next year than you are this year.
- A seminary degree will only get your foot in the door.
- Your competency will get you where you want to be.
- If you're not passionate about seeing lives changed...get another job.
- Your spiritual maturity is your own responsibility.
- Your pastor is really a good guy. Stop being so hard on him.
- Don't name your youth ministry. That died in the 90's.
- If you want to be the head guy, become a pastor or start a church.
- Realize that you will never get the recognition you think you deserve.
- Your family takes priority over anything at church.
- We are in the business of makeing SERVANTS, not SEMINARIANS.
- A good leader will always go ONE-ON-ONE with difficult conversations.

I'm sure there are other things I could add to this list, but this is all I got right now. I will add more stuff as it comes to me.

A Kiss from Kate

I love this picture of my daughter, Kate. She's 15 months old and such a little lady. Check out the full story behind this pic on Jennifer's blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sailing and Leadership

I have a sailboat exactly like the one in this picture. It's called a Sunfish. I bought my boat about 5 years ago. It's old, beaten up and rusty, but my sailboat is a lot of fun! I love to go sailing on Canyon Lake. Most people say Canyon is the best sailing lake in Texas because the surrounding terrain creates a wind tunnel effect perfect for sailing. And trust me, it doesn't take much wind to get this tiny boat moving.

Yesterday I was thinking about sailing. I haven't been in about a year. The nice weather we're having coupled with the winds of springtime are giving me the urge to get out on the lake. I have also been thinking about leadership. I've been thinking about my own leadership ability and how I can become a better leader.

Being a leader is a lot like sailing. Here's why:

  • In sailing you always have to be contemplating your next step. If you want to get from one point to the next you have got to make a plan. This is especially true when sailing to a point that is into the direction of the wind. You must use the process of "tacking" whereby you travel in a zig-zag pattern. Most of the time in sailing it is impossible to travel from one point to the next in a straight line. You must plot a course.
  • Sailing is almost always done as a team. There are some boats that can be sailed solo (like my Sunfish), but even these boats can go faster and are more easily sailed with more than one person. The captain of a sailboat must be able to give orders quickly and see problems that need to be addressed.
  • The captain must make sure that everyone on the team knows their role on the boat. Sometimes these roles can change. Team members must be flexible enough to change roles and pick up the slack where there is need.
  • The gifts and abilities of team members must be evaluated before they are placed in a specific role. Last year I took my 3-year-old son out for a day of sailing. He enjoyed being on the water and seeing the "big sail", but wasn't very good at tightening up the sail or switching sides quickly to balance out the boat. (He's 3) Sailing my boat is much easier with a buddy who can control the sail and move quickly while I steer the ship.
  • When there is trouble the captain must stay calm and focused. I have flipped my boat several times. It's a small boat. A quick gust of wind can easily capsize my boat if I am slow to react to it. Each time this has happened I simply remain calm and work with my partner to "right the ship". There is simply no time to get scared or frustrated or angry. You have got to move quickly if you don't want to continue treading water.

Man, this makes me want to go sailing. Anybody want to come?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Chocolate Cross?

My wife received this as an Easter gift from a very sweet student at the Mother's Day Out program she directs. The problem is, I just think it's kind of weird to eat the cross as if you were eating a chocolate bar. I know it is real milk chocolate and all, but still, something just doesn't sit right...

The HABITS Shack

We just finished up a series called "Developing HABITS That Can Change Your Life". It was a three-week series over spiritual disciplines we call HABITS. I stole these from Doug Fields' book Purpose Driven Youth Ministry. We did a longer version of this series last year, and after it was over I wanted to create a place where we could store the HABITS resources. I asked a retired man in our church if he would be interested in creating a "HABITS Shack". I gave him a rough sketch of what I was looking for and a few months later he called to say it was finished. Below is a picture of our HABITS Shack:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Day at the Office

Since we didn't have any programs tonight due to Holy Week activities I decided to clean off my desk. Now everything is neatly placed in the appropriate folder. This will probably last about two days!

"Shattered Dreams" at SMBA

Last week I had the privilege of being a part of the "Shattered Dreams" program at San Marcos Baptist Academy. Shattered Dreams is a drunk driving prevention program conducted at High Schools across Texas. It involves staging a crash scene somewhere on campus and allowing the students to see the events that take place immediately after an alcohol-related accident. There is the drunk driver, injured students and casualties of the wreck. The purpose of Shattered Dreams is to present students with the real consequences of making the poor choice to drink and drive. I believe this is an outstanding program and I am happy to have been asked to help.

The following is a very well-made video of the crash scene. WARNING: It is graphic. All the events are fake, but they can still be disturbing to younger viewers.

This next video is a recording of events that took place inside the ambulance and hospital. WARNING: It's graphic as well.

This is the final video of Shattered Dreams. It depicts what happened to the student who was arrested for drunk driving.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rock Star Youth Pastor

I emailed this video to all my coworkers here at church. I asked them to punch me in the face if I ever act like this guy. So far, no punches!

Ignatius from travis hawkins on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Ninety and Nine

This is a picture of a sheep I have on my desk. I received this as a gift from a student several years ago. I can't remember exactly why she gave it to me, but I do know the meaning I attach to it. This little sheep reminds me of the parable Jesus told in Luke 15.

I woke up this morning thinking about The Parable of the Lost Sheep. In it Jesus says, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15: 4-7

This little sheep is a constant reminder of the students who have drifted away from our church or their faith. It helps me to be sensitive to the fact there will always be students who need a call, a letter, or a visit. There will always be the one lost student who needs a shephard to go find them and make an attempt to bring them back into the fold.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

John Myers for VP

Below you will find several pictures of campaign signs one of our sophomore guys created for his run to win Vice President of Student Council. I was at his school yesterday and saw these signs. I thought they were hilarious so I snaped a few photos.

Monday, March 30, 2009

FUEL Promo Video

Here's a short video we did to promote our new program called FUEL. We did this way back in September when we kicked-off FUEL. It was way more fun to make because we got to destroy stuff!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Camp Rap from 2007

I thought I had canceled my account, but apparently it's still out there. I pulled this video off the website for your enjoyment. This is what would happen if Rivers Cuomo from Weezer and one of the Beastie Boys combined to be a Student Minister having fun at camp. Good Times!

Camp Rap

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poor Man's iPhone

I would love an iPhone. They are so awesome, but really expensive. So for now I will have to get by on my Samsung Blackjack 2 and my 30 GB video iPod from 2005. Most of the same features as an iPhone, but soooo 2008!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dinner With A Cool Guy

This is who I sat across from at dinner tonight. His name is Nathan, but you can call him Nate Dawg. He is quite the little gangsta sometimes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flights with Stan

Stan's Plane

I got the call. It was about 11 am. I was in my office and my phone rings. It's Stan. "Corey" he says, "I'm gonna bore a few holes in the sky at lunch. Do you wanna come?" Without hesitation I say, "Yes, of course. I'll be there!" So, we meet at the San Marcos Airport about 12:30.

This is the second time Stan has taken me up on a short flight in his plane. Stan is a volunteer in the Student Ministry and a father of two teenagers. He is just one of those guys you really respect and want to learn more from. He also has some pretty good aviation stories to tell after being a pilot for 20+ years. I have enjoyed getting to know Stan during our time in San Marcos.

The first time I went up with Stan was my first time ever in a small plane. I was thrilled to be soaring through the air. What a rush! Stan even let me control the plane for a few miles. It was awesome! This time around I brought along our camera. Below are a few shots from the skies above San Marcos!

Texas State University

Our House
(the one in the middle)

First Baptist Church, San Marcos

The old FBC San Marcos
(Now The Sanctuary Lofts)

Interstate 35 looking South

Monday, February 16, 2009

My God is Real!

I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being the kind of Christian who "wears their faith on their sleeve". In fact, I am sure that you could make a pretty good argument that I am not open enough about my faith. I'm not the kind of guy who's going to hand out Christian tracts on the street or harass people coming out of a bar or nightclub about the spiritual direction of their lives. I try my best to distance myself from the Christian Subculture that exists in our nation. For instance; I don't wear Christian t-shirts (not because I don't agree with the message, but mainly because they are just cheesy), I only listen to a handful of Christian bands, and I have never given anyone a Testamint! With this said, I must share some things that happened in my life last week that, although seemingly small and insignificant, remind me that God is real and alive and working in the lives of His people.

First, something really small, but still gave me chill bumps. I was doing some research for a talk about the divinity / humanity of Jesus Christ. Almost a decade of theological education gave me at least one thing, a lot of books! So, I took one of these books off my shelf. It's called, "Theology for the Community of God" by Stanley Grenz. This is one of those theology books that could anchor a cruise ship. It has 890 pages of small print and absolutely no pictures. I took this book off my shelf and opened it on my desk. This was the title at the top of the page: "Jesus as Divine and Human". It was about 10:15 at night, I was at the church in my office alone, a storm was raging outside my window, and I was suddenly aware of the presence of God. Coincidence? Maybe, but I would like to think God was helping in my search for information.

The second thing was not so small. I love Facebook. I have reconnected with so many faces both present and past. One of those faces is a guy named Chris. Chris was two years older than me during our teenage years. His dad, Mike, was our Youth Minister. I always looked up to Chris because he played guitar, dressed really cool, and was an all-around nice guy. I looked up to Chris' dad too. I know that one of the reasons I felt a call to serve teenagers was due to my relationship with Mike. He was a really awesome guy. Not your typical Youth Minister, though. He was in his late forty's when he came to our church. Even though Mike was the age of our parents, we all loved him. Mike had a heart attack and died when I was a freshman in college. The day Chris accepted my Facebook friendship I sent him this message:

Hey man! Facebook is a crazy thing. One second you're looking at your best
friend's pics, the next you are sending a message to someone from way..way..way
back. Looks like things are well for you. You are working at a church I see.
That's cool. I am a youth pastor in San Marcos, a little south of Austin. I was
thinking the other day about your dad. I remember riding in the trunk of his
HUGE car with Derek on our way to Ellen's Fairway. There wasn't enough
room in the car so we rode in the trunk. Seemed like an obvious solution to my
13-year-old mind. Good times.

I still miss your dad. He is one of the reasons I do what I do. I wish I could ask him some youth ministry questions sometimes. One day I will.

Take care,

Not long after I sent this to Chris he replied with the following message: (some portions have been omitted)

I miss him too. Today is actually the anniversary of when he went home to
be with Jesus. He would be proud of you too. Keep up the excellent


I had no idea the day I sent my message was the anniversary of Mike's death. Wow, that's just one of those moments when I just had to sit back from my computer and say a little prayer to God thanking Him for this bit revelation and intervention in my world.

My God is Real!