Archive for October, 2008

I have a Question…

Ok, so I wanted to try something a little different.  As a youth pastor, you always want to teach on issues that are relevant to teen lives.  You want to teach things that will engage their brains, challenge their faith, and make them step outside of the little box they call “Christianity” and grow in their relationship with Christ.  And so we read, research teen trends, interests, etc.  to find creative and new ways to bring the Bible alive to a group of students.

So here is what I am trying. I started a series called, “If i could ask God one Question…” and during our last series I had notecards and a basket for student to write out anonymously any question that they would like to ask God.  And for the last three weeks we have looked at the Bible to figure out what God’s answer would be…

And it’s kickin’ my butt.  I knew teenagers had some questions about their faith, but what I found was that a lot of their questions are not so much black and white, cut and dry.

Here are some of the questions that our students would like to ask God:

1. Why do some parents not love their kids? (This one makes me want to cry)
2. Why did you bring us into this world if you knew bad things could happen?
3. Are you really listening?
4. Why is it a sin to have premarital sex?  (not is it a sin, but Why?)
5. Why did you let the holocaust happen?
6. Can Satan know my thoughts?
7. Why do we have mosquitoes?
8. Who invented swear words? And who decides what is or is not a swear word?

I have a lot more questions.  And here is what I discovered…not many of them have an easy answer.  Almost all of them involve faith in what we know about God. 

But it has been a great series, and I am sure it is going to continue to be.  Not because I am doing it (in fact, that could be the one thing that holds this back) but because we are getting students to think about the questions they have and to discuss them

If you are a youth pastor, try this, but be prepared for a lot of research for the answers…


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I hate my Church…

Ok, no not me.  I love my church.  But I have been thinking about the statement in the title for about a week now.

I would say over the last month, I have heard a bunch of different people (Friends, college buddies, family) talk about how much they don’t like their church.  I feel pretty qualified to help out on this since I grew up in a church that I “disliked” very much.  So I want to offer a suggestion-

LEAVE!  I mean if you really don’t like your church, leave.  Most times when someone is complaining about their church it comes down to one thing: style.  If you had doctrinal issues, you shouldn’t be at that church in the first place.  So usually it comes down to style!

And so I suggest you leave, for a couple of reasons:

1. If you hate your church, there is a bigger chance of you not going to your church.  I mean, I hate going to the dentist, so I avoid the dentist’s office.

2. If you hate your church, you probably are going to sit there during the service thinking about how you hate the church and you will totally miss what God has for you that day.

3. If you hate your church, then you obviously are not going to invite your friends to attend your church.  And if you are not going to invite your friends to your church, there is a pretty good chance that you are not going to be sharing your faith with them, thus making your impact on the world as a Christ-follower.

4. If you hate your church, there is a pretty good chance that they know it and are not very fond of you.  Trust me, church staff know when you don’t like the church.

So there, if you don’t like your church leave!!!  ANd find a church that suits your style and doctrine.  But don’t expect a perfect church…cause there is none! 

Oh, yea, and stop whining!!!

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A Record Weekend!

Last Sunday, Sycamore Creek Church where I work hosted our annual Football Sunday.  Living in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio has its advantages.  In fact, I just heard that Columbus was rated the top sports fan town in America.  So we go out and invite all the local rec league football teams, junior high football teams and senior high football teams to our service Sunday morning and to the Football Sunday festivities.

Well, we partner with Athletes in Action on the campus of Ohio State University and bring in players from the Ohio State Football Team.  Each year, we have a few guys come in, share their testimonies, and have some Q & A with the athletes in attendance.

With free food, autographed prizes and all kinds of fun- we even gave away an autographed Jim Tressel football to one of the coaches in attendance.

This year, we were able to have some big name football players.  Perhaps you have heard some of their names- Defensive back Donnie Evege, Linebacker Marcus Freeman, Linebacker James Laurinaitis?

And we set a record- 833 people in attendance during the weekend!  Awesome!  I can’t wait until next year…

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My political thoughts for today…

I can’t wait for 19 days from today.  That’s the day that all the political ads and the presidential campaigns are over.  And so as I am sitting here watching the last debate and I am having these thoughts….

– Do either of these candidates have any idea what they are doing?

– Why does John McCain always look annoyed?

– Why does Barack Obama always talk in steps – Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…

– Why are there just two political parties?  Doesn’t it make sense to think that if we had more candidates we could have a better choice?

– Has any president actually been able to keep their promises?

– Why are the debates so boring?

– Do these guys always wear suits?  Would the debate be less boring if they were wearing hawaiian shirts sippin on lemonade?

– Why do we care more about the Presidency than we do about our local senators and congresspersons?

– Would it be more fun if they let the candidates wives’ debate as well?

Just some of my thoughts…

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Some of my favorite beach pictures

I told you I would be posting a bunch of pictures!  These are a few of my favorite pics from our vacation this summer…

Awesome picture of my two favorite girls- My daughter Addison and my wife Andrea

And here is my son Brayden and me


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I think Addison could be a model

It has been a while since I posted a few family pics, so I thought over the next few days I would post a bunch.  So sit back hold on and enjoy.

This pic is one of my favorites.  I truly think my daughter is beautiful and it shows right here. I call this the MODEL PICTURE…

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Is Sarah Palin getting a fair review?

I don’t know what your political views are, and you don’t know mine.  But we sure do hear an incredible amount of critique on everything Sarah Palin says.

But what about Biden?  Why don’t we hear about the mistakes and incorrect info that Biden gives.

Take some of this from the debate (pulled these from an article on

Biden got a lot of things wrong in the debate that are going unnoticed by the fact-check media. Take just a few:

— Will McCain’s health care proposals raise taxes? Biden says that McCain’s proposal will cost people money. The Tax Foundation finds that could easily be “roughly deficit-neutral over ten years.”

— Under an Obama Administration the middle class will “pay no more than they did under Ronald Reagan”? No, the tax rates will be similar to the higher rates under Clinton.

— Did “we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country”? No, one year’s worth of spending in Iraq equaled five in Afghanistan.

— France and the U.S. “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon”? No, and it wouldn’t have made much more sense if he had said “Syria” instead.

— Is it really “simply not true” that Obama said that he would meet with the leader of countries such as Iran without preconditions? No, Obama said “I would.”

— Did Obama warn against letting Hamas participate in Palestinian legislative elections in 2005? No.

— Do “Iraqis have an $80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year.

— Finally, an amusing point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to, inviting anyone to have a beer with him at “Katie’s Restaurant” in Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn’t had that name for probably 15 years.

Come on fact-checking media, you got to do better with this.  I think everyone will agree that we need to know who is speaking fact and who is speaking fluff when it comes to the debates!

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