Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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;
Monday, June 1, 2009
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:
Blink 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
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
Hurt 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
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
- 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.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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
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...
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
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
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
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
(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
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:
Not long after I sent this to Chris he replied with the following message: (some portions have been omitted)
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.
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.
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
My God is Real!