Jul 30, 2008


I'll be taking a break from this blog for a couple weeks, but I will be one of the authors over at THIS blog while I'm gone! Swing by and say hello. I'll try to give a daily update on our happenings in Boracay (if I can make it over to the internet cafe).

We're helping to build a three-story hospital/school that will provide free medical care and education for the severely under-resourced people on the island of Boracay. We're also helping to feed somewhere around 600 small children that come every day for food and water. I'm so honored that I get to be a part of this.

It's about 90 degrees and up around 80-90% humidity, so I might be the hospital's first patient! I've got an awesome group of high school students and a few adult leaders that are ready to go. Send your prayers our way!

Jul 28, 2008

promise keepers

I'm heading to Boracay soon and I ran across this verse last night. It has been on my mind all day as I've thought about my role this week.
"I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness."

Isaiah 42:5-7
The last four lines have all sorts of practical implications, but I have been stuck on that first line today. It says that the people of God have been not just given a covenant, but given as a covenant. We (or specifically Israel) have been called to embody the promise, to actually BE the promise.

This changes the way I understand my role as a follower of Jesus. I am to be a servant first- a living, breathing keeper and giver of God's promises. To shed light on the things of God. To help people see that God is very much available.

We're so much more than a message. Perhaps Marshall McLuhan was on to something when he said "The medium is the message".

Jul 26, 2008

camp highlites

I think I learned about 98% of our students' names, which I'm pretty proud of myself for doing.

The messages weren't what we expected, but God still rocked some worlds. Hume's program and rec are always top notch. No exception this year.

Some chump robbed the boys' cabin a couple times, netting about $250 when all was said and done.

I got to be a part of a "Dudes" seminar, answering questions from the 400-500 guys in the audience about everything from porn to weed to overcoming addictions.

The question "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Dane Cook" was asked of me at least 200 times.

I never went in the lake or the pool. I have no idea how that happened... I love the lake and the pool! It's hard for me to do anything else when there's a good volleyball game available.

We had the best "church wrap-up" conversation thing ever. We got all of our students together on the last day, and what happened there made me confident that God is alive and well, and that our students won't be satisfied by anything less than everything He has for them.

Jul 19, 2008

summer camp

We load up tomorrow morning and head to camp! I won't be bringing a laptop, and I won't have cell phone access, so I am shutting down shop here on the blog for a week.

I won't be anywhere near a computer for 27 of the next 35 days. Gonna have to bust out my trendy Moleskine!

superstition springs

Good to see my old friends getting some attention :)

I love that church!
I should stop trying to get their youth pastors to move to California.

Jul 18, 2008

debt vs. donation

What do you do when you have debt to pay, perhaps even high-interest debt, but you also know that people are starving to death each and every day? I've been trying to pay off some pretty significant debt for years now, and all the while I have been torn because I know that so many people are in desperate need around the world. In comparison to 95% of the world, I'm filthy rich. I haven't missed a meal in a long, long time. And even when I did, the gap wasn't very wide between meals.

But I have cable.
And I eat out all the time
And I go to coffee shops.
And I own a very nice car. Two actually.
I own a lot of clothes, even though it feels like I wear the same thing every other day.

I miss so many opportunities to help people. I have genuine desires and convictions- but I forget about them when I play the comparison game. I'm done with that.

It starts with the cable TV tomorrow. I'm going to send whatever money I used to spend on TV to Blood:Water Mission. I'll miss ESPN and all of my sitcoms, but none of that crap matters.


cool site I found via Nick Asolas' blog. This is what happened with the text from Colossians 1.

myspace is dead

funny, but not really...

Matt Doan wouldn't do that.

A handful of the leaders in the highschool ministry have been hazing me a little bit. Matt Doan, the former high school pastor, left behind a group of fellas that remind me constantly how big the shoes are that I'm co-filling. Their favorite reminder:

"Matt Doan wouldn't (say/do/think/wear) that."

Jul 16, 2008

go go go

This Sunday the high school ministry is loading up and heading to Hume Lake for summer camp. This will be my fifth or sixth time up at Hume, and it has always been an amazing experience. I hear that the feel is different this year. It will be a bit more analytical than emotional, which I think will be a nice break. The kids have started to anticipate the BIG nights (salvation messages, re-dedications and whatnot). Anything that keeps them guessing is a good thing.

Then I'm back home for a week before I lead a mission trip with 20 peeps to Boracay. We'll be there July 31st-August 13th helping to build the 2nd floor (of a soon-to-be 4 story building) that will serve as a hospital/school where people can receive free medical treatment and an education. This is what St. Francis had in mind when he said we can preach the gospel without saying a thing. It's not the whole gospel, but meeting these physical needs is gospel.

THEN I'm back for like four days before I head to our high school ministry's annual RIVER ROMP. We're spending four days at a lake (irony), and I hear that it is an amazing, amazing week. Why we planned three big trips this close together, me don't know. But I'm excited :)

After that I'm taking six months off to recover on a tropical island with Lindsay. All we need is plane tickets and an island, some spending money, and a little bit of vacation time. Anyone wanna make a donation?

Jul 15, 2008

come on down!

I'm going to try to convince my AMAZING boss Eric that he should take the staff to The Price is Right for the next "day away". They film the show nearby and I REALLY want to go!

I played this game from my couch almost every day when I was jobless... I had a nice little routine involving the show, some coffee, my laptop, and some Honey Bunches of Oats. I almost ALWAYS do better than the people on the show, and I'm pretty sure I could spin that wheel right to the $1 every time.

I have a feeling that I'd get picked to be a bidder. I'm just kind of lucky like that. I hear that if you bring a crowd of 20+ they try to get at least one of you up there.

If Eric doesn't want to plan it, do YOU wanna go with me and Linds?

Jul 14, 2008

day away

Every couple of months the pastors at Calvary get away for a "day away". We spent a couple hours at Dana Point doing some solo time, grabbed some lunch, and then we got into some wiffleball action! It was a great time for me to see these guys at their best, especially our family pastor Jeff Biddle on the bottom left flashing some Hasselhoff chest hair as he rounds third!

Jul 13, 2008


I told my students that I'd send em to summer camp at Hume Lake for free in 2009 if they memorize Colossians by the time we leave ( a $500+ value). This is the second time I've offered this. I feel a little guilty for asking them to do something I haven't done myself. I was at a conference a few years back when Louie Gig challenged 15,000 people to memorize it. I wonder how many of them did it. I wonder if I could do it.

p.s. Giveaways like this are simple, and you don't have to sell your soul to make it happen. You just add a couple bucks to the cost for the other students. If they complain about the two bucks, tell them it's sort of like tithing. If they complain about tithing, tell them they don't love Jesus. If they complain about you saying that, well, that makes sense because you shouldn't have said that.

Jul 12, 2008

you might be a redneck pastor

if this is your youth group.

I've lost all hope...

Jul 9, 2008

Forgive me.

Is this a pointless prayer? Do you need to ask for forgiveness even when you already have it?

I said something in passing in my talk on Sunday that might have confused some of my students. I thought I was clear, but I got some feedback that has me wondering. I said that as a Christian, it doesn't make any sense to pray for forgiveness- Giglio said something very similar at a PDYM conference a handful of years ago. But do you agree?

Jul 8, 2008

bible error

PETA would have been all over Jesus for this one.

Jul 7, 2008

it could be worse

We're meeting all the students at the beach tomorrow to play some volleyball...

hope your job rocks like mine :)

Jul 5, 2008

things that still go bump in the night

So I walk up the stairs... and I'm pretty frustrated. Neighbor guy has been rattling our apartment all day AGAIN. I thought to myself that I should pray before I go up, you know, to have the mind of Christ. But I didn't. Thought I should confess that.

A guy in his 40's answers. I explain. He says it was his SON that was staying at his place when Lindsay went up (so it was his son who did the stomping). That kid's got a headlock coming.

Then he invites me to come inside his apartment. I concur.

It's totally quiet. He's actually watching the same show we're watching. But its sounds the same in his apartment as it does in ours. His speakers just bump, even when they're not bumping.

He turned the bass setting down.


Jul 3, 2008

if you don't own a bazooka

thanks brad!

things that go bump in the night

Noisy neighbor update:

Lindsay wouldn't let me go upstairs and talk to him. She thought I would be too intimidating or something... I was a little bit insulted.

"You don't think I can handle this? I'm not going to stab the guy or something! I AM a pastor, you know..."

"I just think it would be less intense if it was me, not you."

So she went to talk to him. Now, what I'm tempted to say here is "Never send a woman to do a man's job", but that would be a really jerky thing to say, and I'm a nice guy. Plus I thought it was a great idea. I had planned all of the gracious and unintimidating things to say, but I kept playing the wrong movies in my head about how it all might go down. You know what I mean?

Ya see... I used to be a pretty hardcore gangster. And sometimes I have flashbacks- like with the neighbor situation. I pictured something starting with a ninja kick to his door, followed by some cartwheels and a lot of shouting from me in German. I didn't foresee any violence in my movie, because I figured that the cartwheels and shouting would have sent him running out the back door. Then I would duct tape a thousand m80's to his stereo and escape just before the atomic subwoofer explosion.

But that didn't happen. Instead she went up and knocked on his door. She asked him to turn it down and he said "no problem". The apartment was really dark and he was alone, fyi. A one-man party.

About 30 minutes later he was bumping again. He played the nice guy when she knocked, but then went back to being thuggish ruggish. And to make things worse, he stomped his foot on the floor (our ceiling) five or six times... just to make it crystal clear that he was a punk.

So we went to the office to ask what was acceptable and the lady made us fill out a report. They sent him a letter, and it didn't work.

Thumper is upstairs right now, and he's got the bass cranked again.

I want to be friends, but Thumper wants war.

I'm going up there. Stay tuned :)


If only this was the relationship that all of our military personnel had with our neighbors across the sea. I'd be much more compelled to pledge my allegiance.

Jul 2, 2008


Tomorrow morning is our second summer bible study. About 30 guys come out to dig into the word. I'm going to bring all of my commentaries, concordances, a laptop, and some books with subject and verse indexes for easy searching- then put the guys in small groups, and have them go do some digging.

Then we'll come back together to put it all together. It should look something like a hunt for treasure, with every group having one piece of the map. We had a sweet plan for last week too, but then we ended up just talking about dating and, um, stuff.

Jul 1, 2008


I'm teaching on prayer this weekend, so I'm tracking down some videos to prime the pump before I dig in. Found a perfect one for this week!