Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

Blog

No Words Needed. . .

Thanks Gillette. You not only hit the nail on the head regarding cultural shifts that shouldn’t be happening, but you get us choked up. Not bad. Not bad at all. . . . more »

Kids And Screen Time. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

It’s summertime. . . and the livin’ is easy. . . or at least a little more focused on our smartphone screens. The kids are out of school. We ourselves might be heading away from our daily routines and out on a vacation. For the most part, we are engaged in the fewer of the... more »

A Prayer For Families. . .

On this Fathers’ Day weekend. . . Heavenly Father, You are the one who made all things and declared all things “good!” Thank you for creating the family and including it in those things that are “good!” Thank you for this precious gift intended to give us all a place to born into, loved, and... more »

Orlando. . . Initial Thoughts On Our Response. . .

I wasn’t in Orlando over the weekend. Most people weren’t. Those who were are now engaged in wading through the physical, emotional, and spiritual mess of facing another in our long and growing line of “ground zeros.” To be sure, this won’t be the last. And, to be honest, outside of knowing a few facts,... more »

Transgenderism. . . Our Conversation and Some Basic-Level Thoughts. . . .

Yesterday we recorded a conversation that we’re planning to share with you sometime next week. I’ve had so many of these stimulating and helpful conversations over the years that we decided that it might be helpful to others if we’d let you eavesdrop from time to time. My conversation partners are a group of guys... more »

Muhammad Ali. . . Processing Smiles and Grief. . . .

“List the five most memorable pop culture icons from your childhood.” Nobody ever gave me that task. But if they did, putting together my list would take little or no thought. As a kid who went through elementary and junior high school during the 1960s, my list comes together easily. Here they are. . . in... more »

Rebuked By Adele! . . . Putting Our Phones Down And Seeing Life. . .

Did you happen to catch a perturbed Adele’s interaction with a fan at her Sunday night concert in Verona, Italy? She called out a woman who was filming the show. And the woman wasn’t the only person watching the show through a camera lens (see the video below). Adele pointed at the woman and said,... more »

A 4-Year-Old, A Gorilla, and Us. . . .

A four-year-old child and a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. It’s quite telling that this is even a discussion. What it’s quite telling about is who we are as a culture and what we value when it comes to life. . . or better yet, what lives matter the most. The backlash, fallout, and social... more »

Body Image Issues. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

No, it’s not just the girls. Yes, it seems like it used to be. But in recent years, a growing number of boys and men have fallen victim to body image issues and disordered eating. That shouldn’t be at all surprising. We live in a social-media and marketing-saturated world that pounds us all. . .... more »

Monotonous Formulated Musical Foreplay. . . The Billboard Music Awards. . .

Culture is a map and a mirror. That’s a mantra of ours here at the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. As a map, it defines life. It tells us what to believe and how to behave. As a mirror, it reflects back to us the image of who we’ve become, telling us what we have come to believe... more »

Their Hurt Is Real. . . .

Last weekend I took some time to ponder this large display that had been set up where Marv Penner and I were presenting our “Tackling The Tough Stuff” seminar. We were in Longview, Washington. The youth ministry crew that brought us in had done their homework, passing this poster board around the community so that... more »

A Powerful Reality To Start Your Week. . .

I’m on my way home from a wonderful yet difficult weekend spent in Longview, Washington. Thanks to my friend Chris Lyons and his team in the Longview community, Marv Penner and I were able to spend yesterday presenting our “Tackling The Tough Stuff” seminar. While it’s as good day, it’s also difficult due to the fact... more »

Youth Workers, Pastors, Churches. . . And The Misuse of Authority. . .

This week I’ve had several conversations with youth workers who are struggling with authority issues in their ministry settings. The conversations have been frustrating. When I’m on the listening end of these stories, I typically default very quickly to a posture of challenge by asking accusatory youth workers to stop, take a deep breath, and... more »

“Scripts”. . . This Year’s Commencement Address. . .

We’re in graduation season. This week, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the institutions, faculty, and friends who shaped my life. Both my undergraduate college (Geneva College) and seminary (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) are holding graduation exercises this weekend. I graduated from Geneva 38 years ago. I graduated twice from Gordon-Conwell. . . 30 years... more »

The Fluidity of Identity in Today’s World. . . A Thought-Provoking Video. . .

A friend sent me a link to this video yesterday. I understand it’s been around for a few days so my apologies for getting to it perhaps a little late. I found it incredibly enlightening and incredibly disturbing at the same time. This is who we are. That’s enlightening. And, this is who we are.... more »

Who’s In The Rest Room? . . . First Steps In Framing The Issue. . .

Last week at our annual CPYU Banquet, our emcee Greg Anderson offered a few words of introduction right out of the gate. “Who could have imagined when we were here this time last year the changes that would take place in the year ahead.” So true. Cultural change this last year was fast and furious,... more »

A Prayer About Depression. . .

This weekend it’s my privilege to speak at the commencement ceremony at Simpson University in Redding, California. I’ve done this before in a few different places and it’s a difficult assignment. So, I’ve been thinking, praying, and studying through this for the last few months. What to say and how to say it. . .... more »

Thoughts On Crisis Response. . . 17 Years Post-Columbine. . .

There are certain days that stay stuck in our head. It’s always something out-of-the-ordinary that drives the memories so deep into our heads that we just can’t forget. It could be an exciting event like your wedding or the birth of a child. Or, it could be some kind of tragedy that shakes us up... more »

Texting, Driving. . . And A Great Video To Show Your Kids. . .

Spring has sprung here in Central Pennsylvania where I live. That means I’m climbing back on the bicycle. That also means that I’m spending an increased amount of time looking into the faces of the drivers I encounter on the road. I’m a bit scared. A good number of drivers had their foot on the... more »

Wisdom. . . And The Lack Thereof In Social Media. . .

Jesus said that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. If he was ministering in today’s world I believe he would stretch that to include what and how we speak on social media. In other words, we can deconstruct our postings and the postings of others and use what we... more »