Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Little Sad

An important piece of Indiana history went down.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What is Missional?

This is one of the better definitions of the "missional church."

(ht Out of Ur)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Study Break

I'm working on an application paper for my business class, which I am getting really tired of (both the paper and the class), and I stop to take a quick "blog reading" break. I found this...

That's great! What a chump.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

College Pics

My college roomate David Karel (aka Polish Dave) post some pictures on facebook. He enjoyed caving and I was lucky enough to go with him on a few trips.

I looked at that pic and though "I need to loss weight."

Thanks Dave.

Contemporary Worship at Its Best (Part II)

A few hours after my last post, I watched David Crowder perform the same song.

That's funny.

(ht Marko)

Contemporary Worship at It's Best

The best line "He will zap you any way He can...zap!" (ht The Anonymous Human

Friday, September 26, 2008

From Rob Bell

"If Church isn’t the place above any other place where you can be honest and raw about the actual junk in your life then I don’t want anything to do with "Church.” If church doesn’t lead the way in being the kind of place where you can be transparent and honest about your struggles then it isn’t church."

9/14/08 From a sermon given at Mars Hill.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Conservative Double Talk

Politically speaking, I consider myself conservative but his clip is great. (ht Angie)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Personal Update

Class starts this week. With a touch of anxiety and excitement, I am ready to get this thing started. When my class schedule came in mail last month I felt like an 18 year kid. My classes are all introductory courses and at the age of 31 is seems I should be past such things. It may sound silly but I look forward the 80 plus mile round trip commute that I will be making twice a week. Why? To resume my pod cast listening. I miss it.

I still plan to work general construction as I study. I’ve been learning a lot. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, a project I have never participated before. I have learned how to “fur” walls, do some electrical work, and some framing...stuff I will use sometime in the future.

Emily started her volleyball season this past week. They won twice and lost once. The team is muched improved from last year's team. I have resumed my reasonability to keep the score book, a task I enjoy thoroughly.

Today we visited a church that showed promise of our future involvement. (See HERE) We have visited many churches, and I have enjoyed each of their services, but few have shown ligament potential. I hope to continue visit other churches, maybe even as far as Lafayette. The search continues.

The closing ceremonies are concluding the Olympics as I type. I have enjoyed this games and am disappointed to see them go.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Daily Show Game

Here's a fun game for youth groups all over our land.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekly Update

A new week is about to start. Thought I would jot down a few things that have been going on in my little world.

1. School starts in about a month. I’m really looking forward to throw myself into something other than ministry. There were things that I absolutely loved about church work but there were other thing that simply drove me completely insane. Even as I work on a hot roof, I still think about the nutty things that went along with ministry. It will good to get my mind thinking about something other than church work.

2. I hate the term “church shopping” simply because of the consumerist overtones it takes on..which is one things I dislike about the modern church. But the realty is, my family has been shopping for a new church. Thus far we have visited three churches in the area and I visited one by myself. All have been very friendly and welcoming. I have about four more churches in our area that I would like to visit. I have really enjoyed visiting other churches. Finding a new church family takes time and there is a strong possibility that we will never find one in or around Francesville.

3. My sister Angie burnt me an audio CD for my birthday. The band is Fleet Foxes and she tells me they are blowing up in the local scene Seattle. I just got around listening to it. Sounds like good “chill” music.

4. I started a book by Scot McKnight called A Community Called Atonement. The premise of the book is to explore the variety of layers of the theological theories of the atonement. I know...sounds boring but it find McKnight’s writing very practical for today’s church. Here are few quotes that I have underlined.

o“...the atonement is only understood when it is understood as the restoration of humans – in all directions – so they form a society (the church) wherein God’s will is lived out and given freedom to transform all of life.”

o“Any atonement theory that thinks exclusively of earth is inadequate, just as any theory that shifts too much of eternity is also inadequate.”

o“Atonement is not just something done to us and for us, it is something we participate in – in this world, in the here and now.”

Keep growing. Peace.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thus Far in July

As you can clearly tell, I haven’t been blogging much. July has been busy thus far and I haven’t been online enough to read blogs let alone write them. So here is quick update.

1. My family came up on the 3rd to visit. This was an extra special occasion because my brother Scott made it up to F-ville for the first time. He brought his two daughters and wife Jamie. Mya, his oldest, seemed to enjoy being on a farm.

2. Emily did well in her 4H projects. One of her pigs received a second place in it’s class. She was 3rd in Recycling and 3rd or 4th in photography. (My apologize to you 4Hers for not know the proper terminology of ranking…I get them mixed up.)

3. A few weeks ago I started to work with a general contractor in my community. He does a verity of jobs for businesses and homeowners. We spent this week re-roofing a house. Guys that are seriously out of shape and 40lbs over weight would be wise to stay off a roof in the middle of July. But I’m a fool with no other job so I’m on the roof sweating buckets. It’s good to have a job that allows me to be outside. (I’ve got a good tan while working). It’s good to have a physical job for awhile. Ministry was making me soft.

Till next time. Peace (as in the peace of Christ)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jack Johnson

I finally got around to edit our concert footage of ol' Jack. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Christianity Worth Believing

I just finished Doug Pagitt’s latest book A Christianity Worth Believing. But before I say anything about it, let me share a portion of what Marko had to say (read the whole book review HERE):

“let’s be straight about this: “a christianity worth believing” is going to royally piss some people off. doug will get more speaking engagements in some quarters, and a whole lot less in others. the people who already don’t like doug will be well-armed to write him off or write against him as “the coming apostacy” or speak against him at ministry events of various kinds. this will especially be true of the nu-reformed crew. while doug’s book is surprisingly winsome in tone (especially for a guy who openly explains in the beginning of the book that he is a natural contrarian), chapter after chapter attempt to pull the rug out from under stack of building blocks foundational reformies play on. dude, seriously: you’re not just poking at their blocks; you’re yanking the rug. they don’t like that.”

I like Doug. I liked his book. But if you are comfortable with your theology (your understanding of God and church practices), I would advise you to stay away. Reread a book of Rick Warren’s. But if you have the foggiest sense of the Kingdom changes that are taking place in Christian think-tanks, then I would recommend reading this theological book. There was little content that I disagreed with. There was some content that I’m unsure of. I need to give it another glance but over all it was good book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sitting in our hotel room watching the Celtics kill the Lakers. today we went to Marthas Vineyard. the M V was a beautiful place. an amazing beach, beautiful homes, and an impressive community. we did however see a few unattractive Nude sun bathers but luckly em was not around. having a great time. Boston just won the NBA Title. em and i are going to go riot with the locals.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good first day in Boston. We went to Fenway, to Cheers for lunch, went up in a skyscraper to see the city sky line, walked around downtown, and went to an impressive super market in the midle of town.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

To Boston

Today we leave to Boston for our first family vacation. None of us has ever been to Boston before. I'm looking forward to going some where new. We'll have many pictures and videos to show when be get back next week. So stay tuned.

Jack Johnson

For an early birthday present, my awesome wife and stepdaughter took me to the Jack Johnson concert. was calling for 75% chance of strong storms but we made the long trip to Verizon Wireless in Indy anyway. The ground was a little wet (we had lawn tickets) but the rains held up. It was a perfect summer night for a great show. Thanks Rae & Em for a great b-day present! (Give me a few weeks and I will posting some youtube clips of the show.)I had an interesting conversion with a friendly guy from Ohio that made me think how Jesus would have reacted. The conversion went like…

Ohio: “You a big Jack fan?”

Me: “I wouldn’t say big but I enjoy his music.”

Ohio: “Right on. Hey do you smoke?” (He said “smoke” is such a way that smoke could have referred to somethng other than tobacco.)

Me: “Not really.”

Ohio: “Do you mind if we do?”

Me: “I don’t mind.”

Ohio: “Cool, because I didn’t want to be rude.” (At least he was polite.)

Later on in the concert his party smoked a little tobacco and a little some’n else.

Now here’s my thought, how would Jesus respond such a request? Leave a comment on how you think Jesus would have responded? (And let’s not include, “Jesus wouldn’t be at a Jack Johnson concert!” for I have little doubt that he would have gone.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

So I Hear...

Looking over the past two years of my youth ministry efforts, I regret not throwing Jeremy Glassford more responsibility. He and his wife Jamie where very faithful youth leaders. They attended nearly every youth meeting. When we had a leader's meeting, they were there. When I had a special favor to ask they took it gladly with no hesitation. I always felt Jeremy was very supportive. In the final days of my ministry I found myself telling Jeremy final details that may be of help to the future of the youth ministry. Looking back, I should have used Jeremy and Jamie more than I did. They had much more to offer and I unfortunately did not see it.

Despite my “mis-read” to maximize Jeremy’s gifts it appears that God has chosen to put him to work. By word of mouth, I have learned that the new associate/youth minister of FCC is none other than Jeremy. Leaving (what I assume was) a good job, with three kids at home, and a mortgage, Jeremy’s decision to begin this new phase of ministry required much faith. I find this leap very impressive. I have no doubt that Jeremy will succeed. I wish him the best of luck and gladly welcome him into the brotherhood of youth ministry.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sungha Jung

This kid is amazing. He has alot of stuff on Youtube. Check him out.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Meet Reggie McNeal

During my blog reading (click HERE to read) I came across a video that I would like to pass along. Reggie McNeal addressed a crowd of Reformed church leaders talking about a change taking place in the Kingdom. This was my first introducing to McNeal. It seems he's associated with Fuller Theological Seminary. I doubt if he would consider himself an emerging Christian but he spoke of a missional faith, a faith that is growing in so many. The video is 45 min. long but worth it. Leave a comment and tell me something that you found meaningful.

Let me share one meaningful nugget. McNeal suggested that the first church was slim ply following where the Spirit had been. There was no way the first Jewish Christians could have though God was interested in the Gentiles. In a way, they were playing catch up always lagging a few paces behind. As I think about this in today's context, the church, no matter how hip or organized it might be, will always be playing catch up to where the Spirit has been. Some churches are on the Spirits heals but many of much futhrer behind. But is the church's job, however, to keep after where God is going.

Wedding Slide Show

I finally got around to make a slide show of our wedding. The song is Set Me As A Seal from artist Matt Maher. The lrycs are taken from the Song of Songs (in your Bible).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Personal Update

Last Wednesday I injured my ankle so badly that I went to the ER to get it check out. I’m not the type that seeks medical help unless something is really wrong. They took an x-ray. It came up negative so I was told me to go my family doctor in five days to have it checked out after the swelling went down. I went to the Dr. yesterday. He seemed to think it is healing fine.

Today I went down to IVY Tech. I had a few questions to ask the department head of business then I enrolled for four fall classes: a math class, two computer classes, and a business class. I’m looking forward to my business course because this is an area I have never explored. Classes will start at 8:00 a.m. every Tues. and Thurs. With a round trip of 90 miles just to make it to class and back, I’m glad to make the drive just twice a week. Feel free to send random gift cards this fall to fuel my education.

Summer employment is still up in the air. I would appreciate your prayers.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

"The New Christians" Road Trip with Trucker Frank 6

Here is the last webisodes with Trucker Frank. I've enjoyed this series very much and I hate to see it come to and end. If you would like to watch the rest of these webisodes the search this blog (for I just made them live) or go HERE for the first installment. Be forwarned, some will find some of this offensive but Jesus was offensive so I'm in good company.

It's Finished

For years I have lugged a massive set of keys in my pockets ever where I have gone. Today I officially cut that weight in half. Just a few moments ago I set my church related keys in the office. My office is cleaned out. My responsibilities to the FCC are over. It is finished. My emotions are mixed. I’m excited to start a new future however there is a touch of sadness. I enjoyed youth ministry and I will dearly miss it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PreSchool VBS

Day #2 is over. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. Today's teaching was Jesus gives us the power to help. The kids went home with their marching orders to help others like Jesus helped us. Kids were still asking about the gaint buble but didn't seem too disappointed when we didn't do again. It was another great day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tony Jones and Trucker Frank's Road Trip - Episode 5

Trucker Frank doesn't make an appearance but this webisode is a tale between two pastors. Good stuff.

Pre-School VBS

Our first day of preschool VBS concluded an hour ago. 23 little guys had a blast. The highlight was the giant bubble. The kids stood on top of a concrete block in a pool of soapy solution as a hula hoop was used to make a giant bubble around them. The kids stood inside a bubble. They loved it. These kids are great.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prince Caspian

I’m not much a movie critic so I won’t try to be one here. But last night, Rae and I went to watch Narnia: Prince Caspian in the theater. We both enjoyed it. For those who watched with decrement, elements of faith were laced throughout the film. I’ll be sure to buy it on DVD for my own library.

Friday, May 16, 2008

W.C.'s Baccalaureatte Address

This morning I received the official news that I will present the Baccalaureate Address at the West Central School Corp's commencement ceremony. The Senior Class of 2008 voted for me, which I count this as a great honor. I was told my address should only be ten minutes in length. That’s not a lot of time but I will make it work. Commencement is the largest speaking platform on our side of the county. I request your prayers that I use this opportunity wisely.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tommy Emmanual

My young friend Nathan Williams suggested I watch Tommy E. on Youtube. Amazing stuff. Thanks Nate.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

"The New Christians" Road Trip with Trucker Frank 4

I'm really enjoying Monday mornings. A new webisode of Trucker Frank is posted. Two more webisodes are left.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week In Review

With just three weeks of being in “full time ministry” I know that my blogging habits will likely change significantly in the upcoming weeks. I still desire to keep this blog rolling, even if it’s just once a week. Maybe I could develop a Sunday night ritual of writing a week-in-review. So let me start tonight.
• I’ve been blown away by the number of conversations I’ve had this week were people have told me they have been reading my blog. They talked about my private information and it catches me off guard. I’m pumped you guys are reading. Thanks.
• I think one of best features about my blog is the box on the right called “Chad’s Shared Items.” This is a feature that Google Reader (GR) allows me to “share” interesting stuff that I have read from other blogs. Also, GR has just added a “comment” feature that allows me to make a comment about a blog entry that I am sharing. Simple go to the “Chad’s Shared Items,” clip on “Read More” in the bottom right hand corner, and read my comment about a blog post. FYI: Some of the stuff I share I do not agree with 100% so don’t flip out if you read something that offends you. We live in a complex, messy world. Embraces the messiness. You might find a part of God that you may have missed. If I share something, that means I found God in it. I hope you can find Him in it as well.
• Today is mother’s day. Rae, Em, and I meet my parents in Lafayette. Nothing says happy mother’s day like Texas Roadhouse. We had a lovely visit. Thanks Mom and Dad for making the drive up for a visit.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Nothing extraordinary happened yesterday but it was interesting none-the-less. I drove to Lafayette to the Christian book store for some preschool VBS material. After that I had a honey-do-list to knock out then went back to IVY Tech for a meeting with a Career Counselor and to take a math placement test.

The career counselor gave me the Myers Briggs test. It showed that I:
• Find energy in being Introverted
• Perceive life through institution vs. sensing
• Make judgments by thinking vs. feeling
• Prefer living life by perceiving situations instead of judging what may or may not happen.

This test suggested that people with my personality type are less likely to work in “religious professions.” (Now they tell me.) I have a hunch why guys like me have a difficult time working for churches but I’ll save that for another day.

The results of the math were no surprise. I didn’t do very well. My knowledge of pre-algebra skill helped me to score well but my algebra score stunk. I don’t feel too bad because I haven’t had a legitimate math class since ’96. I’ve been trading emails with an academic adviser all morning. He suggested me taking a basic algebra class.

Before leaving town I went to the Home Depot to buy Rae and I a gas grill with some of our wedding gift money. It’s huge and it’s beautiful. Stainless steal! I’m hoping to use it tonight.

I finished the day by helping the father-in-law in the fields. Half way through I stopped the tractor at the edge of the field to “take a leak.” I only mention that because at that moment I thought of Grandpa French. I have childhood memories of playing on the farm, running into the mechanic shed to find him peeing. Stupid…I know…but as I took care of my business of the edge of the field I thought “I’m sure Grandpa did this…he would be proud.” Stupid…I know. Another thought came to me, I wonder how many Ben Davis grads are running a tracker? It would guess none.

I forgot to mention that I bought a new iPod Nano to replace the one that just went out. Sweet.

Monday, May 05, 2008

This Past Saturday

This Saturday I found myself playing farmer. My father-in-law is a farmer and needed some help in the fields. I chiseled (plowed) about 50 acres. It’s not the most exciting work but enjoyed it none the less. If I were guaranteed to inherit 600 acres and a barn full of farm machinery I would seriously consider farming as a career. But since I’m not, I will look for work elsewhere.

The second thing that happened on Saturday involved my dog. I keep him outside now so I checked on him at 6:00 p.m.. He was fine. I called him at 10:00 p.m. and he did not respond. So I went into the barn to find him curled up in an old dog house. He would not come out at all. After dragging him out I found him dirty, cut up, and physically exhausted. He got into a fight with something and was so warn down I honestly thought he would not be alive the next morning. I took him into the basement, woke up the next morning to find him with a little more energy. It’s now Monday and he seems to be doing alright. He’s moving a little slow but on his way to a full recovery.

"The New Christians" Road Trip with Trucker Frank 3

The conversation captured on this video talks about Christian marketing, Christian book stores, a Biblical word in the Greek that’s translated to an English curse world, and ugliness of fear about new ideas.

Reminds me of a blog post from Chad Brown.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Back to School?

Yesterday I found myself on the campus of IVY Tech Community College for the second time this week. The idea of going back to school is a daunting thought. I haven’t had a legitimate math class since high school. And with gas approaching $4 a gallon, the 80 miles it will take to make it to class and back is a concern. Despite these concerns the idea of going back to school is attractive. It would get me out of my “ministry bubble,” give me new skills, and put me in direct contact with non-Christians, which is hard to do in town like F-ville. I am still undecided on a career path so prayers of wisdom and direction are desperately needed.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

See You at the Pole

I received an invitation to speak at the “See You at the Pole” student gathering sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a club of West Central High. I was given the freedom to talk about any topic I so desired, so I made the intentional decision to not talk about any topic. I read a blog entry by Once A Youth Pastor… (read HERE). It was a personal story of an ambitious first time gardener that had a few unexpected results along the way. Instead of reading the author’s final thoughts I encouraged students to come up with and share a few thoughts of there own. A number of students shared their ideas…all very good. I read a shorten section of John 15 (the vine and the branches). I had no clear “message” but I succeed in getting students to think about God through an real life, every day story.

One of the values that I have as a Christian (therefore youth pastor) is to embrace the messiness of life and faith. Not everything makes sense. Faith can be confusing. I attempt to have students think on their own without the need for me (the paid youth minister that went to Bible College therefore is an assumed authority of the Bible) or a person like me to provide a comfortable answer to difficult answers. This can get messy. But I think it’s a necessary mess because too few Christian students can think on their own about God without footnotes or a trusted pastor to tell them what to think. The Kingdom needs free thinking Christians, not people that can spout out Bible trivia.

I’m please how this morning went. I’m not sure what the students took away…but that’s O.K.. I’m trusting God to speak into someone’s life.

Thanks to the FCA of W.C. for the invitation. I was honored by your invitation.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This is a test to see how Flock works. It looks promising. 
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, April 28, 2008

"The New Christians" Road Trip with Trucker Frank 2

Watch this. I wish I would have learned to preach/teach like this much earlier in my Christian journey.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Wedding

Our big day has come and gone. We planned it to be simple and small so we could enjoy the day instead of the stress of the big wedding. From what we were told, everyone enjoyed the day. Go HERE to see pics.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"The New Christians" Road Trip with Trucker Frank-Episode 1

I would love to spent some time with Truker Frank. He seems my kind of guy.

Monday, April 21, 2008


For years I have wanted a place to store and share the worship songs that I have used over the year. After checking out the blog of Johnny Scott of CIY Believe I found a free way to share documents. Go HERE to check it out. I hope this will help a few up and coming worship leaders.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Possible Reasons Why You’re Not Emergent

Few will understand this but there are a few of you church workers that will find this hilarious. Missio Dei listed the Top 50 Possible Reasons Why You’re Not Emergent. Check the whole list HERE. Here is my top ten.

49. My mother will disown me.

46. I don’t like Rob Bell’s hair.

42. Mark Driscoll told me I couldn’t.

33. Tony Jones went to Princeton Theological Seminary…that liberal.

24. I’m allergic to candles.

22. Brian McLaren’s books are not theologically correct. I’m not sure why, I just know they are.

20. The orthodoxy police will bust me.

14. I prefer Joel Osteen.

11. I refuse to switch to Apple

6. Hell fire and brimstone works just fine, thank you.

Makes You Think

(ht IAmJoshBrown via Melissa Bill)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tax Day

I'm proud of myself. My taxes where finished a day early.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jesus On American Idol

Tuesday night, about three till (?) I was flipping the channels when a familiar tune caused me to stop my channel surfing. I could hardly believe it. The very popular but very Christian and very worship song “Shout to the Lord” was sung on freak’n American Idol! I watched in disbelief. How could this be? I didn’t hear the name Jesus in the song, so I was both suspect and proud at the same time. (They sang “Jesus” on Thursday performance.)

Two thoughts crossed my mind as I watched the performance:

First, in the spirit of Dan Kimball, culture is very interested in Jesus. Culture, as a whole, is very welcoming to the historic person of Jesus. They are not offended by his teachings. I think this performance on American Idol, the nation’s #1 show, is a small example of how pop-culture is open to Jesus. Very good news!

Secondly, however, making Jesus popular is not really the point. I was reminded of the Roman Emperor Constantine who made Jesus very popular in the 4th century. He made Christianity a world force…a good thing. But he also made Christianity look more like the pagan culture than the example we find in the New Testament…a bad thing. So while I was pumped that a very talented group of American Idol constants sang a worship song I am also cautious not to make too much out of this event.

What do you think?

Shift '08

Out of Ur has been posting some interesting sessions from Shift, a youth worker’s convention at Willow Creek. They've had some big names give presentations: Dan Kimball, Kara Powell, Mark Yaconelli, Shane Claiborne, Brain McLaren and more. I would have loved to been there. Click on one of the names above to read a short summary of thier teaching. Important stuff for anyone doing Kingdom work with youth.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What A Piano?

I have a piano that needs a new home. It belonged to my grandmother then took it as favor for my sister. She has moved to the West Coast and has granted permision to get rid of it. We would like to keep it in the family but the offer is good to anyone.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pagan Christianity?

I just finished reading the joint work of Frank Viola and Gorge Barna titled Pagan Christianity?: Exploring The Roots of Our Church Practices. I highly recommend this book to every Christian (paid minister, church leaders, old ladies…everyone). This book uses Church history to prove the modern practices of today’s Church have been greatly influenced by pagan culture. As a result, it also points to the troubling reality that the teachings of the New Testament have been marginalized for the last two millennia. No one “does church” by the book.

As a person who has been suspect of traditional Christianity for some time, Pagan Christianity is another indication that Christianity is radically changing (for the better in my opinion). Viola’s work explores the origins of some of the foundational practices of the Christian faith that are seldom questioned. This practices include(and also serve as the chapter titles): the church building, the order of worship, the sermon, the pastor, the Sunday morning costumes, ministers of music, tithing & clergy salaries, baptism & the Lord’s Supper, Christian education, and finally, reproaching the New Testament.

This book will scare some; for others it will provide hope for the future. I found this book very eye opening and helpful in so many ways. To say this book was timely (with the uncertainty of my professional future) would be a great understatement.

Order HERE if you are interested (and be sure to read the bood reviews - some praise it while others find it useless). Drop a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bible Reading

(ht NakedPastor)

A Great Cabin in the Smokys

A few weeks ago I took a small group of students to the Smoky Mts. My former youth minister, Tim Wingfield, has a wonderful cabin located between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. It has a king and queen size bed, pull out couch, fully functional kitchen, hot tub, and cable T.V. for the very reasonable price of $100 per night plus tax. I am hopping to take Rae sometime this summer. I told Tim I would post a link on my blog so click HERE to check out the cabin’s website. Feel free to contact Tim if your interested in staying there.

Still Moving

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. There hasn’t been much to write about. I’ve been moving my stuff into Rae’s house. Things are moving slowing but we are making progress. The both of us are getting ride of a lot of junk. I find it a rewarding experience to get ride of the stuff that clutters up life. I guess it’s the backpacker in me that says if you don’t need then don’t bring it. If I haven’t used it in a year… then it’s gone. I have a lot of stuff to give away. If it’s not out of my house by the end of the month I will place it outside next the edge of the street. Experience tells me that things disappear fairly fast when that happens.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Started the Move

I began to move my stuff into Rae and Emily’s house over my lunch break. The wedding is 23 days away and I would like to have all of my stuff moved in by then. Most of the stuff in my house is things I do not need so I will be getting rid of a lot of stuff. If anyone needs dishes, future, a desk, or anything at all – there is a good chance I’ll give it to you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Check it Out.

The evidence is every where. The face of Christianity is changing. Click HERE to read an interesting article from the Indianapolis Star. It can even be seen in our military. Read HERE.

Dispatch #15 - #20

Dispatch #15: Emergents hold to a hope-filled eschatology: it was good news when Jesus came the first time, and it will be good news when he returns.

Dispatch #16: Emergents believe that church should function more like an open-source network and less like a hierarchy or a bureaucracy.

Dispatch #17: Emegrents start new churches to save their own faith, not necessarily as an outreach strategy.

Dispatch #18: Emergents firmly hold that God’s spirit- not their own efforts – is responsible for good in the world. The human task is to cooperate with God in what God is already doing.

Dispatch #19: Emergents downplay – or outright reject- the differences between clergy and laity.

Finial Dispatch #20: Emergents believe that church should be just as beautiful and messy as life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Obama Speech: 'A More Perfect Union'

I doubt if I for Obama but if he gets into the White House, I fail to see how our countrty will not benfit because of this man's leadership.

Dispatch #12 thru #14

Dispatch #12: Emergents embrace the whole Bible, the glory and the patho.

Dispatch #13: Emergents believe that truth, like God, cannot be definitively articulated by finite human beings.

Dispatch #14: Emergents embrace paradox, especially those that are core component of the Christian story.

Joe & Melissa Wisely

My new friend Joe Wisely and his wife Melissa are starting the Appalachian Trail today. To keep tabs on their hike go HERE on a weekly basis. Help them out by sponsoring their hike by downloading their PDF.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dispatch #9 thru #11

Dispatch #9: The emergent movement is robustly theological; the conviction is that theology and practice are inextricably related, and each invariably informs the others.

Dispatch #10: Emergents believe that theology is local, conversational, and temporary. To be faithful to the theological giants of the past, emergents endeavor to continue their theological dialogue.

Dispatch #11: Emergents believe that awareness of our relative position – to God, to one another, and relativistic apathy (absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dispatch #3 thru #8

Dispatch #3: The gospel is like lava; no matter how much crust has formed over it, it will always find a weak point and burst through.

Dispatch #4: The emergent phenomenon began it the late 1990s when a group of Christian leaders began a conversation about how postmodernism was affecting faith.

Dispatch #5: The emergent movement is not exclusively North America; it is growing around the globe.

Dispatch #6: Emergents see God’s activity in all aspects of culture and reject the sacred-secular divide.

Dispatch #7: Emergents believe that an envelope of friendship and reconciliation must surround all debates about doctrine and dogma.

Dispatch #8: Emergents find the biblical call to community more compelling than the democratic call to individual rights. The challenge lies in being faithful to both ideals.

Dispatch #1 & #2

Dispatch #1 – Emergents find little important in the discrete differences between the various flavors of Christianity. Instead, they practice a generous orthodoxy that appreciates the contributions of all Christian movements.

Dispatch #2 – Emergents reject the politics and theologies of left versus right. Seeing both sides as a remnant of modernity, they look forward to a more complex reality.

The New Christians

My copy of The New Christian: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones came in. I have already read the first chapter online in a free PDF format. I’m unsure how much I should write about my own thoughts and feelings about this book but I do feel it's worth quoting Jones’ dispatches of Emergent Christianity. So I will have a series of post simple titled "Dispatch." I do this for my own sake and for those of you secretly reading (and from what I been told)…secretly talking about the content of this blog. (Leave a comment…share ideas…ask questions…openly talk! What’s the worst that could happen?)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Good Day

A few blog worthy events took place today.

1. E.B. had an indoor track meet today a Purdue University. 35 high schools were represented from nearly every corner of the state, one of which was my home school of Ben Davis. Track & Field is pretty chaotic on a normal day but things ran very smoothly. I have no idea who won or lost but it was enjoyable to watch.

2. As I attended the indoor meet I began to think about how athletics effects youth ministry. This image appeared in my mind.
(ht to Swerve)
This diagram could be true of anything in life. There comes a point when excellences is not worth the time or money.

3. Rae and I had dinner with my parent. We went to the TX Roadhouse. It was our first meal together since Rae and I announced our engagement. I asked Mom to help with a few things with the wedding so she had a few question. I asked Dad to perform the ceremony so he had a few questions of his own. It was a very enjoyable and encouraging time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Is Come'n

A bird woke me up this morning. I saw my first Robin. Spring is on it's way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Friends must have been praying for me last night. The kids seemed to take the news of my resignation well at last night’s youth meeting. Actually, it’s probably too soon to know if or what impact it had on the kids. Students are prone to hide pain when first reacting to bad news. This news will impact a few of the students, will be of no consequence to most, and might be welcomed news to some. I am please how I conducted myself. I broke the news in a light hearted manner and was able to hold back a few tears. Your prayers made the difference.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


A Native American man of our community just walked into my office. He had a few questions to ask about the Bible, had a few things to share, and then quoted the whole book of James to me from MEMORY! The Spirit moved and I was blessed.

Big Events

First of all, let me say that God is amazing. The night I read my resignation letter to the board of my church, Marko directed me to a new blog called “Once a Youth Pastor….” It was a great comfort.

Second, anyone involved in youth minister at all should read “Once a Youth Pastor…’s” three part series on big events. Click HERE for part one, HERE for part two, HERE for part three. I’ve been thinking about some of this stuff for years but there are some new ideas I’ve never thought of. Important stuff.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Resignation, “Who Farted,” and Fish and Chips

As I wrote a few days ago, two major things have recently happened that will alter the direction of my life. I announced my engagement to Rae. Now it is time to share the second major event with the few of my online readers.

The time has come for me to resign from my position as the youth minister of the First Christian Church. There is so much “stuff” for me to mentally process. My future career path is uncertain. But my faith is on Solid Rock, as freshman Austin P. recently preached. I’ll be fine.

But now for the hard part. How to tell my students of this news? As I rehearse this talk in my mind, there is so much I want to say but know I can’t. So I pray that God will provide the right words at our next youth meeting. I want to provide hope for the future and a peace for today.

Growing up, one of my youth ministers resigning from his position. He told us on the floor of his living room during one of our youth meetings that he was leaving to become a Sr. Minister of another church. He started to cry. I thought he was chump. I really wasn’t affected by his move. There is a part of me that hopes my students will react the same way: “No big deal. Life goes on. Who farted?”

My last day on staff will be Sunday June 1. If there is a positive angle to this news it’s that I will remain in this community for a significant amount of time. There are a few things I am looking forward to after June 1.
• I am going to attend a worship service of the Apostolic Christian Church just because I want to.
• I get to preview other expressions of the Christian faith (I get to go to other churches outside of Christian Church/Church of Christ).
• I apologize if this offends you but I’m going up to the town bar and order me a basket of fish and chips (thought I’ve been told the place has taken a dive since I’ve arrived in Francesville and I might die from walking in). Maybe Rae and I should have a wedding reception there. Just kidding.

I wound appreciate your prayers these next few days. Pray extra hard on Wednesday night between 6:00 and 8:00 as I tell the students.

I doubt if I will ever directly write about this event on this blog ever again. If you have any questions, I can’t promise I will be completely honest but I will do my best to bring some understanding to this situation.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


What a week! Two major things have happened that will change the course of my life forever. One of these events, which I consider to be secondary in comparison, will be announced sometime in the future. The BIG news, however, can finally be announced.


After three years of dating Rae Boehning, we have agreed that now is the time to officially start our lives together. Words can not express how thankful and unworthy I feel that this wonderful woman would settle on a chump like me. But I have either fooled her or won her heart over because she will soon be my bride.

The wedding date will be April 26 at my home church of Fleming Garden Christian in Indianapolis. My father will conduct the ceremony. It is my heart’s desire to have a large wedding where all of my wonderful family and great friends could share in this special day. But after looking at our future plans (a step-daughter soon going to college, one of us continuing our education, and perhaps adoption) we realized the best thing to do was to invest in our long term plans and forego a large wedding (which would have been a whole lot of fun). So I hope that my friends and family who read this will understand why we have chosen to have a very small wedding with only our immediate families present.

Here are just a few details about our wedding. First, my sister is flying in from freaking Seattle, WA to attend. I did not expect her to come on such short notice but she has booked a flight and I am very humbled by her great sacrifice to be here. Second, both Rae and I are wearing denim in our wedding. Rae is wearing a blue jean jacket over a white skirt and I am wearing a pair of blue jeans pants with a sports jacket and a tie. Believe or not, I spent more money on my apparel than she did on hers. How do you like that?

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Marko Quote (from a Veteran Youth Worker)

“Let’s be honest: working with teenagers, no matter how much you love them and are called to this ministry, is cause for fear. They’re a messy lot. The work is never done. The needs are never fully met. The demands and expectations of youth ministry pull in every direction, often in opposition with one another. If you live into this calling, sooner or later, you’ll get hurt; you’ll get ignored; you’ll be misunderstood; you’ll be blamed; you’ll be misrepresented; and you’ll screw up. But, be not afraid.”

(ht Marko)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

30 Hour Famine Wrap Up

We are within the last 30 minutes of our 30 Hour Famine. Eight students have stayed for the duration of the lock-in. Others promised to complete the fast at home. Money is still coming in but $1,200 has been collected for World Vision. That makes this whole event worth it. Student’s getting out of their comfort zone by collect money and fasting for 30 hours. It goes to show what students can accomplish when adults give them a little space to do it. At the moment, we are gathered around the youth lounge simply talking about random stuff. I wish you get students to open up like this during 90 minutes of youth meetings but it simply does not happen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Why Are You Asking Me?"

I am a person that asks many questions. My sixth grade teacher saw this quality in me and encouraged me to keep asking. God made me this way. I can’t help it. One of the questions that I have asked of late is why do we (a church tradition that clams to be of the Word) have so many beliefs (therefore practices) that are outside of the Scripture? We claim to be one thing but our actions at times speak otherwise.

I was listening to a sermon of Dr. David Eubanks, former president of JBC (click HERE to listen). His sermon was entitled, “Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?” At the front of his sermon he confessed,

“One of the early mottos of (our movement) was, “We speak where the Scriptures speak and we are silent where the Scriptures are silent.” Now I have to say to you in all honesty we have not always observed that motto and certainly no one has observed it perfectly. It’s a wonderful motto…but it is our goal.”

My question was put as ease after hearing these words. Dr. Eubanks, an icon in my Christian tradition, changed the parameters of my concern. It’s not that we are a people of the Word (present tense); rather, we are people that strive to be a people of the Word (future tense).

By the way, his sermon on baptism is worth listening to. It wasn’t what I expected this Christian Church icon to stay. For some reason I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll give you the answer to his question/sermon tile, “Why are you asking me? Ask Paul. Ask Peter. Ask Jesus. Let God be God.”

Saturday, February 23, 2008

David Crowder Challenge

David Crowder's blog has been blow'n up on my Christian blog list. A few took a challenge of his so I took it was well. Hit “shuffle" on your iPod and list the first ten songs. No cheating.

1. Where to Begin by My Morning Jacket of Elizabethtown (Sound Track)
2. Drew’s Theme by Nancy Willson of Elizabethtown (Sound Track)
3. Just a Friend by Biz Markie of The Biz Never Sleeps
4. Zapata by Nancy Wilson of Elizabethtown (Sound Track)
5. Don’t Want to Grieve You by Vineyard: Holy
6. Holes to Heaven by Jack Johnson of On and On
7. Surrender by Vineyard: Beautiful
8. The Friend I Never Met by Andy McKee of Dreamcatcher
9. River Drive by Nancy Wilson of Elizabethtown (Sound Track)
10. Twenty Four by Swithfoot of The Beautiful Letdown

#3 is a tad embarrassing to let people know about my music selection but the rap has a powerful and timeless truth: never talk to a girl who says she just has a friend.

JBC Homecoming (cont.)

I made it back for JBC Homecoming. Having racked over 1,200 miles on my truck this week, I’m a little tired...from all the driving. On the way home I went out my way to meet some new friends at the Central Christian Church in Huntingburg, IN. I seldom go to that part of the state so I enjoyed exploring a new portion of Indiana. I made my way up through Bloomington then head to my Mom and Dad's new place in Hendricks County. It was my first time spending the night at their new home. Today I went to Dad and Brock’s worksite at the home of Fred and Heidi B., a very important couple in the life of the Fleming Garden C.C. and the French family. It was good to see them. Then I made my way to the upper east side of Indy to join Rae and her family for dinner at Italian joint. Good food and good company. Every one went shopping but I went home. Pick up Duke. Now I’m at home. Good day.

P.S. Duke stinks and needs a bath

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

JBC Homecoming

The first night of JBC’s Homecoming has come and gone. It is good to be back on campus and it is good to be back in East Tennessee. On the way down I stopped at the Museum of Appalachia only for it to be closing. Having driven past the musem’s road signs for 15 years I thought to stop to see what it was about and judge if students would like walking through it. I’m coming back down with a group of students next month.

Last night’s homecoming session went very well. I was somewhat surprised by the amount of contemporary worship music. The homecoming crowd is on the traditional side. Jeff Walling gave a very impactful message. Using Luke’s account of Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman (Luke 7:36ff)l, Walling spoke about passion; the passion of being right verse the passion of falling before Christ. Very good message

I’m staying with some college friends. They rented a very spacious cabin about 30 minutes away for the college. We played a game of Monopoly before going to bed. I lost.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Picture of the Week

Is this for real?

I'm A Bad Boyfriend

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone. Today, on Valentines Day, I spent more money on my dog than my girlfriend. Close to 5X the amount to be more accurate. My dog ran away last week. Luckily, he was found after been missing for seven days. Today I had him “fixed.” He also needed his shots up-to-date and heart worm medicine. With all the poverty in the world, I’m ashamed for spending so much money on my mutt dog. The irony is that my girlfriend was the one that found my dog. I’m a bad boyfriend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reveal: Section 4

The fourth section of Reveal asks the question “So What Can You Do Now?” For the team at Willow Creek, it lead them to a new vision and strategy. They stated three things they changed but recognized it was not changed for every church. Then they stated three practical steps that every church could take.

1. Ask More Than “How Many” – The question of “How many” is a good start b/c it tells us what attracts people to the church program. “How many” is a superficial question that doesn't scratche the service of spiritual growth? The two questions to ask after “how many”? is…
• “How did this event help people grow?”
• “Which segment (levels of spiritual maturity)of people was this event intended to help, and did it actually help them?”

2. Go Beyond “How Are You” – Personally, I find it very difficult to get past this question on Sunday morning. It saddens me to think of the Christians that only reach this level of fellowship by only being Sunday participates. However we get past this stage we need these recommend question…
• How is your relationship with God?
• What’s helping you grow spiritually these days?
• What ministry is making a difference in your life? How?
• What could the church do differently that would help you grow more?

“What do you do with what you hear? Resist the urge to be defensive if people say things that are hard to hear. Instead, listen intently. Afterward, reflect on what you heard; let it sink in. If you hear the same things over and over again, chances based on what you hear regularly over time.”

3. Ask “How Does That Help Someone Grow?” - Reflection after an event is one of my weakness.

Each ministry program should ask, “How does that help someone grow?” The key word is “does” and not “should.” Ministry leaders have a way of creating programs then assume the desired result took place when it actually does not.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Reveal: Section 3b

“The decline of the church’s influence as people mature spiritually suggests that the church may have put too much emphasis on the spiritual equivalent of diaper-changing and homework-helping stage of care. Much like parents, the church may need to shift its relationship with it’s maturing disciples into something different in order to maintain an appropriate level of influence and provide the support they need” (p. 55).

A few things come to mind:
• Christian Education has just taken on a new responsibility. Equip the saints to equip themselves.
• Christian Education has just been relieved of some of it’s duties. Sunday school no longer needs life long participates. The most mature in Christ do not need to come! (What a relief!)
• Christian Education should be about equipping people with spiritual skills not just providing spiritual information. Curriculum is not the answer. Spiritual practices are.

Diaper-changing…what a great image.

Reveal: Section 3

A working definition of “spiritual growth” was needed so the Reveal team came up with “An increasing love for God and for other people.”

Then they came up with three hypotheses about spiritual growth:
1. There is a migration path for spiritual growth based on church activities.
2. The most effective evangelism tool is a spiritual conversation.
3. Spiritual relationships are a key driver of spiritual growth.

Before stating what their research found they stated three things that were NOT found.
1. Gender does not impact spiritual growth in any significant way. (There was a female bias because more females participate in programs but the differences between males and females were small)
2. Age does not appear to have a significant impact on spiritual growth.
3. The pattern of spiritual growth does not differ significantly by church. (No doubt the churches surveyed were large in size but I believe that the path of spiritual maturity looks the same regardless of the size of a church. This survive has implications on every church!)

Here’s what they found:

1. Involvement in church activities does not predict or drive long-term spiritual growth. But there is a “spiritual continuum” that is very predictive and powerful. An increasing level of activities did not predict an increasing love for God.

As people grow in their relationship with Christ their spiritual behavior will increase.

2. Spiritual growth is all about increasing relational closeness to Christ. (Spritiaul growth in not about program participation.)

3. The Church is most important in the early stages of spiritual growth. It’s role then shifts from being the primary influence to a secondary influence. I found this insightful. Church programming only has so much to offer. When a participant has maxed out a program’s usefulness they naturally move on to other things. This could be an explanation why 10th – 12th graders tend to drop out of youth groups (though I think it has more to do with social needs instead of spiritual). Maybe this is why adult Sunday School “appears” to be struggling all over the nation. Instead of making Sunday School attendance a goal, maybe we should be equipping people to “feed” themselves. Therefore, the goal of Sunday school could be to teach self feeding skills to growing Christians. Adult Sunday school could have a graduation and once graduated they no longer need to come back. (That's a new though.)

4. Personal spiritual practices are the building blocks for a Christ-centered life. The church plays an important role in the early stages of these practices, but as people grow the church’s role naturally begin to play less of a role.

5. A church’s most active evangelists, volunteers, and donors come from the most spiritually advanced segments.

6. More than 25 percent of those surveyed described themselves as spiritually “stalled” or dissatisfied” with the role of the church in their spiritual growth. A “stalled” person says, “I believe in Christ, but I haven’t grown much lately.” A “dissatisfied” person says, “My faith is central to my life and I’m trying to grow, but my church is letting me down.” This may shed light on the fact that churches are not equipping people to feed themselves. These dissatisfied participates assume it is the church’s responsibility thus deflecting responsibility to themselves. No wonder so many wonderful Christians are grumpy.