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

Blog

Dear Dad. . . A Powerful Letter From a Young Athlete Who Wants to Quit. . .

This is one of those things that has to be passed on to others. It’s just too important to ignore. It comes from the Changing the Game Project, an organization created to essentially redeem youth sports, putting the “play” back into games and letting the games be about the kids. . . not the parents,... more »

Nomophobia. . . Got It? A Helpful Infographic. . .

New stuff means new words. The folks at the Oxford Dictionary release a list of new dictionary entries (as well as those that have been eliminated) every year. Recently. . . and not surprisingly. . . a host of new terms they’ve included are related to the assimilation of new technologies into our lives. Sadly, as... more »

Antonio Brown. . . Are We All Twerkers?!? . . .

Outlandish, over-the-top celebrations in pro football are nothing new. No, they weren’t always “a part of the game.” And, the nature of the outlandish-over-the-topness has evolved (or perhaps “devolved”) over the years. But these displays have been around long enough for folks my age to have had a lifetime of opportunities to use them as teachable... more »

Youth Ministry and Parents. . . Thoughts As You Kick Off The Year. . .

A Facebook post I spotted this morning got me thinking. A youth worker was asking his ministry peers for ideas on what he could address during this week’s annual meeting with parents. What caught my attention was his use of the word annual. That word, when combined with parent meeting, once got me in big trouble. The... more »

A Little Message For Youth Workers On Broken Kids. . . And Some Things I’d Do Differently. . .

In his bestselling book Season of Life, Jeffrey Marx follows a season of high school football at Baltimore’s Gilman School. At the cookout following the team’s first preseason scrimmage, one of the moms approached head coach Biff Poggi to ask how successful he thought the boys were going to be. “I have no idea,” Biff... more »

Colin Kaepernick. . . Some Thoughts. . .

He certainly has people talking. And whether you like what Colin Kaepernick has been up to or not, I think that what he’s been up to is worth talking about. If nothing else, the 49er’s quarterback and one-hundred-fourteen-million-dollar man has provided us with a catalyst for what could be some good teachable moments with our... more »

Self-Injury. . . The Scream On The Skin. . .

As a culture-watcher, I sometimes like to “rewind” as a way to gain perspective on just how much and how fast youth culture has changed. The practice serves to wake me up at times when familiarity with what was once relatively unknown lulls us to sleep because it’s become all-too-common and widespread. That creates huge... more »

The Shame List. . . And How To Talk About Sex. . .

Last week, the folks at Campus Pride, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a safer college environment for LGBTQ students, released its 2016 Shame List of the absolute worst campuses for LBGTQ youth. As I scrolled through the list of colleges and universities, I began to feel like I was scrolling through one of those old Campus... more »

Texting While Driving. . . A Powerful Video. . .

I didn’t know the story of Jacy Good until this morning. She was pictured on the front of our daily newspaper under the headline, “Jacy’s Mission.” The story reported on a new  four-minute video that’s been viewed well over 50 million times since it’s release last week. I watched it. Jacy Good was 21-years-old and... more »

The VMAs, Youth Culture, and Monday-Morning Grieving. . . .

Perhaps the most telling sign of the times is how my mood has changed over the years. When it comes to MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show, it’s transitioned for me from one of the most-valuable-annual-youth-culture-rituals-to-watch, into a burdensome chore. I spent a good portion of yesterday dreading the nine-o’clock hour and what it might... more »

A Powerful Must-Watch Tale of Redemption. . . .

Yesterday morning, a listing on the TV pages in our local newspaper caught my eye. Having already been impressed by ESPN’s O.J.: Made In America documentary a few months ago, I thought that Pin Kings might be promising and worth the hour it would take to watch last evening on ESPN2. And so, I bit. Wow! Without giving... more »

Ryan Lochte, Freedom, and A Glance At Who We Are. . .

Not only was our American “Bro Culture” exported to Rio and the Olympic Games, but it seems to have gotten caught doing what “Bro Culture” does best. Now, the big story coming from the Summer Olympics is allegations by swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his peers that they were robbed at gunpoint. Developments continue to... more »

The Digital Diet of American Teens. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Our friends over at Rawhide.org have released another helpful infographic. . . this one offering loads of information on teens and digital media consumption. Yes, things have really changed since 1995. This is worth looking at and passing on, particularly to parents. And parents. . . take special note of the last section on “Tips... more »

A Christian Approach to Same-Sex Marriage. . .

Last year one of my college friends, Dan Doriani, released a new book on being a man. Dan’s book, The New Man: Becoming A Man After God’s Heart, is one I’ve been reading carefully for my own personal enrichment. Dan’s goal was not to write the typical book for men that’s full of lists. Rather, he... more »

The Olympics, Russian Doping, And Our Cheating Hearts. . . .

Last night Olympic officials announced that 271 Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio. This means that one-third of Russia’s Olympic athletes will not be competing in the games thanks to a government-sanctioned doping program that in effect, is all about cheating (remember Lance Armstrong??). Somehow, the virtues... more »

What If We Let Our Kids Just Play? . . . .

I continue to process the unfortunate athletic experiences of so many kids. Have you ever stepped back from the sidelines to watch what’s happening outside the white lines?!? Do your kids play on fields bordered by sidelines made up of screaming and yelling parents? Are those parents spewing pressures onto the field that push away the... more »

Teens and Anonymous Apps. . . A Helpful Infographic. . . .

We are regularly asked about the messaging apps kids are using to anonymously send text and picture messages to each other. Because kids oftentimes impulsively send inappropriate messages of all sorts, we recommend that parents and other caring adults know what apps kids are using and how they are using those apps. The folks at... more »

A Prayer For Ourselves, Our World, And Our Times. . . .

“Lord, we ask for discerning eyes to be able to see what it is that’s really happening, eternal perspective that places what’s happening in context, compassionate hearts which reflect your heart for the oppressed, wisdom to know what to think/say/do, and prudence to speak in the proper time only those truthful words which glorify you... more »

A Divided Nation. . . A Prayer When We Are At The End of Ourselves. . .

God does great things when we are at the end of ourselves. Actually, God does great things all the time. Perhaps we notice them the most when we can no longer rely on ourselves and we must throw ourselves. . . helpless as we are (all the time really, although we don’t recognize it). .... more »

Tell The Kids. . . Lessons From Fergie and God. . .

I hadn’t known about it or seen it until yesterday. It was a text that asked if I knew about last Friday’s release of Fergie’s new single, “M.I.L.F. $.” And so, I watched. According to the counter on YouTube, the video’s had 20 million views as of this morning. The envelope keeps moving. And wherever... more »